Lyme Disease – Patients Languish while Facts are Buried

Clinical conditions Health Care

On 10-11 May 2013, the first Worldwide Lyme Disease Protest was held in countries across the world. Why are patients protesting?

Lyme Disease is acquired by the bite of a tick infected with bacteria of the genus Borrelia (which also cause Relapsing Fever). Those who work (or play) outdoors among vegetation – forestry and park workers, groundsmen, gardeners, farmworkers, railworkers etc. – are particularly at risk. Forests and rural areas are especially dangerous, but the presence of Lyme-carrying ticks has been documented even in London parks.

Often painless, tickbites easily go unnoticed, especially as juvenile ticks are as tiny as a full stop. Weeks to months later, the victim may experience a bewildering array of symptoms, including severe fatigue, migrating joint pains, concentration, memory and co-ordination difficulties, psychiatric symptoms, Bells palsy, regression and autistic-like syndromes in children. The sheer breadth and often fluctuating nature of the symptom picture means misdiagnosis is rife. Many are told they have M.E. or psychosomatic disorders.

Early, adequate antibiotic treatment can cure, but few receive it. Job-acquired Lyme Disease is legally reportable under RIDDOR – but few reports are ever filed.

Worldwide, Lyme medicine is polarized into two distinct camps. Supported by the US and British public health establishment, the camp known to patients as  “Denialists”, insists Lyme is confined to a few hotspots geographically, is easily detected and just as easily cured. By contrast, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society camp, composed mainly of front-line treating physicians, claims the opposite, believing British Lyme incidence to be massively underestimated.

A large body of evidence supports the ILADS view.  Borrelia strain variation and its multiple immune-evasion mechanisms mean that current NHS tests (which rely on detecting antibodies to the test strains) are insensitive, missing most cases.

Misleadingly, GP’s are advised that Lyme is nearly always heralded by a bullseye-shaped rash. In fact, only 10% of Lyme rashes are bullseye-shaped, and many never notice a rash.

Standard short courses of antibiotics, as recommended by Public Health England, are often inadequate, especially in later stages, due to Borrelia’s immense armoury of antibiotic-resistance mechanisms.

With the dire state of diagnosis and inadequate treatment, many sufferers go on to develop chronic disability. Meanwhile doctors treating according to ILADS guidelines often find themselves threatened with license removal. There is no longer a single NHS consultant prepared to diagnose or treat Lyme outside of the Denialist guidelines.

A handful of private specialists offer treatment to those who can afford it and are well enough to travel. The rest are doomed.

Why is this occurring? The excellent documentary “Under Our Skin”  highlighted the conflicts of interest many leading Denialists have with vaccine, biotechnology and insurance corporations. The latter deplore paying for long-term treatment in chronic Lyme.

However, the roots of the problem are deeper and darker still. With its phenomenal immune and antibiotic-evading capabilities, Borrelia has been the subject of intense interest by bioweapons developers since the Second World War era. Most major players in Lyme Denialism are linked to the US/NATO biowarfare establishment. Last year all Lyme testing for England and Wales was transferred to Porton Down, our premier biowarfare research centre, where it is headed up by bioweapons expert Dr Tim Brooks.

With mounting evidence that Borrelia may be involved in a proportion of cases of MS, Motor Neurone Disease, and even Alzheimers, the final toll of this coverup may prove to be phenomenal.

For general info on how to protect yourself from ticks, see p13-14