by by Dr Thomas Stuttaford, The Times 8th August 2005.
The article can be found on the Timesonline website see, Going down to the woods? Wear Socks
The LDA issued the following statement about the article.
Thank you so much for addressing the growing problem of Lyme disease (‘Going down to the woods? Wear socks.’ August 08, 2005) and for pointing out that Borreliosis is endemic in this country.
We would like to emphasise a few points:
- It is not the deer tick which carries Borrelia and its co-infections in Britain but the sheep tick ( Ixodes ricinus) which feeds on sheep, deer, cattle and many smaller animals.
- The E.M. rash is only present in less than 50% of patients suffering from Borreliosis (see the International Lyme and Associated Disease Society website at http://www.ilads.org). Atypical
forms of the EM rash appear to be more common than the classic’ Bull’s Eye’ rash.
- Arthralgias and neuroborreliosis are common manifestations when infected with the European strains of Borrelia hence the different symptom patterns to those seen in North American patients.
- Ticks should NEVER be removed with bare finger nails.
- Don’t use petroleum jelly, spirits or a lighted match be used as these greatly increase the risk of the tick regurgitating infected fluids into the wound.
- Use fine-pointed straight tweezers or a patented tick remover available from vets.
- Lay the tweezers firmly on the skin close to the tick’s mouth parts. Grasp the tick and pull it out steadily. Do not leave any mouth parts in the skin.
- Clean the wound. Watch the wound over the next few weeks and monitor any health problems.
As you so rightly say, ‘Heavy and prolonged courses of antibiotics are needed.’ When a patient has been diagnosed late into the disease the treatment may be open-ended due to the slow division rate, the polymorphic nature of the organism and the deep penetration by the cyst form.
If Babesia, a common co-infection, is present anti-malarial treatments are also required otherwise the patient will not see an improvement in health.
This is a devastating disease and the current testing procedures leave a lot to be desired.
Lyme Disease Action Press Office
(Registered charity number 1100448.)