Surge in acute cases of Lyme disease in Britain spurs ministers to act
Excerpted from The Guardian: (12/04/2015)
Britain had a surge of cases this summer of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that in its most serious form can result in chronic fatigue, pain, confusion, depression-like symptoms and memory loss.
New figures show that after a two-year pause in the steady rise of cases, the number of acute cases – people who test positive and show symptoms of the disease – nearly doubled this summer, the peak season.
Public Health England also revealed that tests for the disease have increased five-fold in the past two months – though this is likely to be affected by publicity around the case of the billionaire John Caudwell and his family,who were diagnosed with the illness.
Growing concern about the spread of the disease, thought to affect 2,000 to 3,000 people in the UK each year, has prompted ministers to decide to set up a network of regional experts to help diagnose and treat the problem.
include a growing number of ticks in some weather conditions; more wild mammals that host them; an increase in the number of visitors to areas where they live; and greater awareness leading to more patients visiting GPs and therefore more diagnoses.