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HAS THE HEALTH PROTECTION AGENCY ONCE AGAIN FAILED US?

Posted Sep 26 2012 5:27pm
The Health Protection Agency publishes the figures for Lyme Borreliosis in England and Wales in 2011. here  

In 2011, 959 cases of laboratory-confirmed Lyme borreliosis (LB) were identified in residents of England and Wales, an incidence rate of 1.73/100,000 total population. This compares with 905 cases and an incidence rate of 1.64/100,000 in 2010. Excluding the 197 (21%) people known to have acquired their infection abroad during 2011, 762 are believed to have acquired their infection in the UK an incidence rate of 1.38/100,000 total population.

(To those not familiar with Lyme Disease certain sources believe the true figures of cases are likely to be about 10x the number of serological cases year on year.)

One point that interested me was this 'Almost  half (n=463) reported presentations compatible with recent infection,' therefore the other half must be cases found beyond the early stages of disease- perhaps disseminated Chronic Lyme Disease!

Did the HPA recommended treatment of a couple of weeks antibiotics cure all, actually do that? or maybe that is the reason so many patients are joining Eurolyme looking for answers to why their NHS short treatment didn't work.

This NHS doctor has something to say about her initial failed treatment but recovery on longer treatment here 

This BBC interview In 2007 with researcher Dr Klaus Kurtenbach ( sadly now deceased) has some very interesting points here


"In France they have diagnosed 10 times as many cases as here", says Dr Klaus Kurtenbach, one of the scientists at Bath University.
"Yet we've found the same number of ticks here carrying the disease."
Scientists studying ticks in the West Country's open spaces
Scientists in forest
Dr Kurtenbach and his colleagues believe British doctors are failing to spot the symptoms of the disease.
They say hundreds of people are suffering with headaches and even mild paralysis, who could be treated.For Inside Out West, Dr Kurtenbach went out to woods near Bath to gather ticks.Even in February, he found a large number of the bugs."Many people think it's only a problem in summer, and only in major forests", he says."But we are finding them now, and in greater numbers than ever."It's clear that the public needs to be more aware of the growing health risk.




France (over 10 times the incidence as the UK's)"In France, the incidence has varied considerably from one region to anotherand it is estimated between12,000 and about 15,000 the number of new cases peryear. "(Compare this with about 2,500 per year over the whole of the UK includingScotland)"The eastern and central regions are most affected, with an incidence of up tomore than 200 cases/100,000 population in Alsace." link here 

Germany (148 times the UK rate)"An incident diagnosis of LB was coded in 14,799 and 16,684 individuals for theyears 2007 and 2008, respectively, resulting in an incidence of 261/100,000cases annually in the DAK cohort. Although the extrapolation of these numbersmay lead to an overestimation due to clinical misdiagnosis and/or miscoding, ourfindings translate into 213,912 annual incident cases on a population-widescale, which suggests more LB cases in Germany than projected previously in theavailable literature dealing with this topic." 
Taken from 
Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 595427, 13 pagesdoi:10.1155/2012/595427Research Article: Evaluating Frequency, Diagnostic Quality, and Cost of LymeBorreliosis Testing in Germany: A Retrospective Model AnalysisLink here  

Netherlands (20 times as many cases reported compared with England and Wales)Our nearest neighbour, the Netherlands, has 43 per 110,000 (slightly differentuse of 110,000 instead of 100,000 there but I don't know why, that's at
least 20 times the rate supposedly in England and Wales.) Link here  

Belgium (45 times the rate reported in England and Wales)Europe Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases2012, DOI: 10.1007/s10096-012-1580-3"The overall Belgian incidence rates in the SGP practice in 2008–2009 were 18.65(95% CI 17.29–20.08) per 10,000 persons for tick bites and 9.02 (95% CI8.08–10.03) for erythema migrans."This means 90.2 actual infections per 100,000. Link here  

Norway (about 40 times the UK incidence)Depending on the region, up to 84 per 100,000. They have really detailed maps ofthe worst areas on the west coast, and south coast, which is where everyonelives) Link here   


Thanks to Denise Longman for sharing her research into these figures from our neighbouring countries.
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