UPDATE: Wow over 150 people showed up to protest! Way to go Australian Lymies!! Way to get the word out there. So much for there NOT being Lyme in Australia. Here are some pics and a short interview from Danielle Ryan, the organizer of the protest.
Danielle: I’m angry that it took 30+ specialists and i had to diagnose myself
and i couldnt walk and they told me to accept it and live on 4 painkillers and 2 x antidepressents.
Lisa: How many people turned out?
Danielle: 150+ People
Lisa: What were you hoping to accomplish and do you think you did?
Danielle: our objectives were:
1. Funding for Tick Borne Diseases Research Group (at The University of Sydney)
2. Revised accurate testing methods and processes
3. Education programs (doctors & public) – for prevention & early diagnosis
4. No legal implications for Australian doctors treating Lyme Disease
5. Workers compensation rights for tick borne diseases contracted at work
6. Recognition of the illness NOW (including update of the NSW Health position on Lyme).
This will provide Australian doctors comfort in testing and treating for both internationally and locally acquired lyme disease, and will reduce mis-diagnosis / stop lyme patients being denied treatment.
Lisa: Thank you for all that you did to promote Lyme Awareness.
Danielle: You’re Welcome 🙂
Pictures from Danielle Ryan, Natalie Young and Janice Foster
A Place for everyone in Australia to register there support for Lyme disease Awareness Protest in Sydney on the 14th of September 2012. Click Here
WHAT IS LYME DISEASE?
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans by ticks and potentially other insects. Left untreated, Lyme Disease and Lyme Co-Infections (other bacteria and viruses also carried by ticks that are often also transmitted at the time of bite) can cause numerous health symptoms including severe neurological damage and severe pain, and can be fatal. Lyme Disease often mimics other illnesses such as MS, Motor Neurons Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Anxiety, Autism, Fibromyalgia, Parkinson ’s disease, Behavioural / Psychiatric Disorders, and Chronic Fatigue syndrome. Thousands of Australians may be infected with Lyme Disease, but are misdiagnosed with other illnesses due to lack of education within in the Australian medical community.Numerous Australian children have also been diagnosed with Lyme Disease via pregnancy / birth infection. Overseas research has also indicated Lyme bacteria (borreliosis) has the potential to be transmitted via blood transfusion, organ donations and sexually. In the USA where Lyme was first discovered during the 1970s, Lyme Disease is now epidemic in numbers being the 5th most commonly reported Nationally Notifiable Disease. Lyme has also subsequently spread across the world with European and Asian countries recognising the disease and treating Lyme Disease patients.
WHAT ARE THE ISSUES WITH LYME DISEASE IN AUSTRALIA?
The Australian government, both State and Federal, continue to deny that Australian ticks carry lyme disease despite thousands of Australians being bitten, presenting with known Lyme Disease symptoms, testing positive for the illness, and seeing drastic health improvements with treatment. This denial is conclusive of a single study conducted in the early 1990s which assumed that only one strain of borreliosis can cause Lyme disease. There are, in fact, numerous strains of borreliosis which the ticks were not tested for during this study. This included those European strains causing severe neurological symptoms; coincidentally these strains present similar symptoms to those seen in our Australian Lyme Disease patients. The investigation into the possibility of a local strain of borreliosis was also not investigated and tested for.
Australian patients suffering from this illness are being told “Lyme isn’t here” or “there is little evidence that it occurs in Australia”. NSW Health (who advises other Australian state health departments on testing and treatment guidelines) are denying Lyme Disease patients with accurate testing for Australian strains, and withholding proven treatment methods to relieve their symptoms and prevent their deaths.
There have been various previous Australian research studies conducted by qualified medical professionals and animal zoological experts proving Lyme Disease exists in Australia. This research has been available as early as in the 1950s when lyme borreliosis was discovered in Australian native animals. This study and later studies proving the existence of Lyme in Australia has been ignored by NSW Health. Australian patients are being left to suffer, or told they are mentally unwell. There have been known deaths due to Lyme Disease in Australia.
NSW Health have also been ignoring the hundreds of patients who have been contacting them via letters and phone-calls for several years alerting them of the illness and requesting their support.
The Lyme Disease community are holding this peaceful protest to request their acknowledgement of their illness in hope that they can achieve recognition of their illness, research funding, education of Australian medical professionals, and accurate testing and treatments within Australia.