Seasons Greetings and email enquiry service hours of operation
The Lyme Disease Association of Australia would like to extend seasons greetings and goodwill to the entire Lyme and Lyme-like disease community.
As our community is well aware it has been another mammoth year for Australian Lyme and Lyme-like disease patients and carers.
As a direct result of our community’s support and assistance we’ve delivered above and beyond. We wish to specifically thank our volunteers who helped research, prepare and develop our Scoping Study submission, Counter-argument to the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and our interactive mapping project.
To everyone else that contacted us, those that assisted us in raising awareness and those in our broader community we say thank you as well!
Please note, the Lyme Disease Association of Australia’s email enquiry service will be closed from 5:00pm Friday 19th December 2014 and will re-open at 9:00am on Monday 5th January 2015, however the service will be periodically monitored for enquiries of an urgent nature.
Did you see Sunday Night’s segment on Lyme disease?
Channel 7’s flagship current affairs program Sunday Night recently aired a segment focusing on Australian Lyme disease patients heading to to Germany for treatment.
While the segment raised awareness and presented some of the issues faced by sufferers, there were however some missed opportunities to really expose the dire situation patients in Australia face.
Release of Australian Lyme disease patients and tick bite location maps
The exact number of people with Lyme disease in Australia is unknown as public health officials do not collect any data because the disease is not notifiable.
There are two maps; the first plots individuals with an officially confirmed cases of Lyme disease by residential suburb, while the second is of tick bite locations that have resulted in an individual contracting Lyme disease.
The maps provide a cumulative representation of the data obtained through our surveys from 2011 onwards.
Remember – if you review our maps and cannot see your suburb located please complete our survey to be added.
Lyme disease patients appalled by recent claims about Lyme disease testing
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) recently announced their top ten targets in a bid to reduce inappropriate pathology testing across Australia. Unfortunately, Lyme disease testing has been identified as a target on this list.
Importantly, many members of our community will recall this type of behaviour from the RCPA is not new, as earlier this year the RCPA released a position statement on Lyme disease testing. The Lyme Disease Association of Australia (LDAA) was forced to counter their argument due to factual inaccuracies while also requesting an open, honest and rational discussion about Lyme disease testing within Australia.
The LDAA is again bewildered by this most recent announcement, as the release again flies in the face of the work of the Department of Health, the work of the LDAA and of course the existing and ever-growing evidence that there is a Lyme or Lyme-like illness within Australia.
Accordingly, we’ve responded to the (RCPA) and expressed our concerns and have again made a request for an open, honest and rational discussion about Lyme disease testing within Australia.
If you’d like to help with tick research in Australia then you may like to consider contributing to the two studies currently being undertaken:
University of Sydney
The University of Sydney in New South Wales are currently undertaking research into Lyme disease and the causative agent within domestic ticks.
As such the Tick Borne Disease Research Unit would like your ticks. If you’d like to participate simply read this advice and follow the instructions carefully.
Remember to ensure you check local quarantine restrictions first before sending any specimens, if in doubt contact the the team directly or the Karl McManus Foundation for further information.
Murdoch University in Western Australia were recently awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant to further their tick research program under the leadership of Associate Professor Peter Irwin (Veterinary). The grant will enable the development of ‘a new molecular toolkit to investigate zoonotic tick-borne pathogens in Australia’.
There is an opportunity for all those interested in proving that Lyme disease exists in Australia to be part of this research. Get started by reading this advice and then heading to our contact us page to request a tick donation kit*.
*Please note, do not under any circumstances send specimens (i.e. ticks) using any other vessel or method apart from what is detailed in the instructions provided in the collection kit as there are quarantine and other regulatory issues that need to be followed precisely.
The Karl McManus Foundation have released the details for the 3rd Tick Borne Diseases Conference in 2015. The conference which is entitled ‘The Way Forward‘ is to be held from 7-8 March 2015 in Sydney.
Conference Key Note Speakers include:
We’ll update details as they are released.