Welcome to LymeAppeal
This non-profit organisation and associated website have been created as a direct result of requests and recommendations from the growing number of UK Lyme Disease sufferers and their professional advisors. The primary aims are to raise funds for treatment, bring greater awareness to the debilitating effects of Lyme Disease and its misdiagnosis and support medical research.
It is therefore hoped that this appeal website, if nothing else, helps to slow the relentless progression of this pandemic disease by raising public awareness and assists in improving the testing and treatment methods to an acceptable level in the UK.
Lyme disease and its associated co-infections are transmitted by the bite of a tick. The disease is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria (spirochete) called Borrelia burgdorferi. The Lyme spirochete can cause infection of multiple organs and produce a wide range of symptoms. Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme Disease recall a tick bite or the associated EM "bull's-eye" rash. Each year thousands of Lyme Disease patients go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and Lyme is a disease with devastating consequences to those who do not discover and treat it in its earliest stage.
The number of Lyme Disease infections in the UK has rocketed from a tiny handful to almost 3,000 a year, according to Health Protection Agency estimates. This might still not reflect the real figure, however, because France, with a similar population and lifestyle to the UK, has an estimated 10,000 cases a year. This is due in the main to a combination of reasons. It is widely believed that global warming is contributing to the rapid proliferation of ticks in our countryside and a greater number of these are now carrying the disease. Sarah Randolph (Professor of Parasite Ecology at Oxford University) however, is of the opinion that the large rise in deer populations was the main factor in the increase in incidence of Lyme borreliosis and TBE – as opposed to climate change. The reason for this was not that the deer transmitted the disease, but that the deer were an excellent food source for the adult tick. Also, doctors are not recognizing the signs and symptoms at the point of infection, this, together with the notoriously inaccurate blood tests presently available in the UK is the primary reason why so many Lyme Disease cases in the UK are either misdiagnosed or ignored.
The Center for Disease Control of America (CDC) estimates the actual numbers of those infected each year in the USA is at least tenfold of that documented and admits that more than 200,000 people in the USA may acquire Lyme disease each year, a number far greater than that of annual HIV/AIDS infections.