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Lyme Disease ‘Greatest Threat To Public Health’

October 13, 2015
Latest News

The number of people contracting Lyme disease has quadrupled in the last 12 years – leading one famous sufferer to describe it as “the most significant threat to human health” of our time.

More than 1,100 people were diagnosed with the disease in 2013, according to figures seen by The Daily Telegraph.

The bacterial infection is carried by ticks often found in woodlands and, if left untreated, can cause neurological damage and debilitating fatigue in humans.

Celebrities such as Avril Lavigne, Selena Gomez and Bella Hadid are all known to suffer from Lyme disease.

Billionaire Phones 4U founder John Caudwell, his ex-wife and three children have all tested positive.

He told Sky News: “It’s really the most under-researched and most significant threat to human health and this must change, and it must change quickly.

“The frightening thing is that my son started with anxiety 10 years ago. He’s now 20. This anxiety became so severe that he couldn’t leave the house.

“Despite having endless doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, this condition just continued. Nobody could understand why because he was the most confident lad ever during his first 10 years of life.

“He just got taken out completely by mental illness and nobody could understand why.

“Then eventually the psychological symptoms turned to physical ones. The shock of that was immense – that he’d lost 10 years of his life due to a bacteria.

“It was also a huge sense of relief because all of a sudden we had something we could treat.”

Many GPs remain ignorant of the disease, charities have claimed.

Potential causes for the increased infection rate are the greater number of housing developments in rural areas, warmer winters that prolong the life of ticks and immigration from central and eastern Europe, where Lyme disease is more common. 

One way of reducing the chance of contracting the disease is to cover up when visiting wooded areas.

Published by Sky News UK, 11/10/2015