The Global Search for Education: Austria – Ticks
What is the annual incidence of Lyme disease in Austria? Would you also comment on the annual incidence of any other tick-borne illnesses that are endemic in Austria in addition to Lyme?
There is no official source for Lyme disease incidence in Austria. Some experts say there are only 200-500 cases per year. However, Lyme disease is not a notifiable infection in Austria. The big problem in Austria is the bulls-eye rash criteria for diagnosis. This is only found in 30-50% of newly infected patients. Hence, only a few doctors here are diagnosing the problem properly. Health authorities tell patients to look out for the redness in diagnosis as an allergic reaction or a fungal infection. We also know that the bulls-eye rash can disappear without any treatment. Hence there are a number of infected patients who go untreated. In Austria, the standard antibiotic treatment for Lyme is 10 – 14 days with doxycycline or 21 days with Penicillin. Therefore, the number of chronic Lyme cases continues to increase each year.
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