CMO Progress Report Aug 2015

Aug 20, 2015

CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

Progress Report

on Lyme Disease in Australia

Professor Chris Baggoley, AO has advised that:

The department remains concerned about many Australians suffering a chronic debilitating illness which they associate with a tick bite. "My colleagues and I have closely followed the research being undertaken in Australia, in particular keeping a watchful eye on that being undertaken at Murdoch University and Sydney University."

Read the full text: Chief Medical Officer Progress Report on Lyme disease - August 2015

 

That report provides the following guideline: Australian guideline on the diagnosis of overseas acquired Lyme disease borreliosis

 

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Category: News
Posted by: chris

CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

Progress Report on Lyme Disease in Australia

On 31 July 2014 I wrote to you about Lyme disease in Australia and provided you with a progress report against each of the terms of reference of the former Clinical Advisory Committee on Lyme Disease in Australia (CACLD). I also highlighted what the Department of Health’s future role will be regarding Lyme disease in Australia.
The department remains concerned about many Australians suffering a chronic debilitating illness which they associate with a tick bite. My colleagues and I have closely followed the research being undertaken in Australia, in particular keeping a watchful eye on that being undertaken at Murdoch University and Sydney University.


Please find attached an update on the Department of Health’s recent activities on Lyme disease and on the research from Professor Peter Irwin at
Murdoch University. Should you have any questions please contact Dr Gary Lum (Gary.Lum@health.gov.au).

Yours sincerely
Professor Chris Baggoley, AO
BVSc (Hons), BM BS, BSocAdmin, FACEM
20 August 2015
Attachment: Chief Medical Officer Progress Report on Lyme disease - August 2015

That report provides the following guideline: Australian guideline on the diagnosis of overseas acquired Lyme disease borreliosis

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

While classical Lyme disease cannot be acquired in Australia, patients may present who have travelled through endemic areas. Lyme disease is prevalent in north east United States of America, parts of Europe including Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Sweden as well as parts of the United Kingdom. Lyme disease can also be
found in Russia, Japan and China. For patients who present with no history of overseas travel but with a tick bite and systemic symptoms, e.g., fever, contact with your Specialist Microbiologist to discuss test referral and with your Infectious Diseases Physician to discuss antimicrobial treatment of tick borne infections in the
Australian context is advised.


Lyme disease should be considered in patients presenting with a history of tick bite from one of these areas along with a fever and mild influenza-like symptoms. An annular rash, Erythema Migrans may be present in 70–80% of patients presenting with Lyme disease. Other manifestations of Lyme disease occur and descriptions can be found in the body of the guideline. For example, Lyme neuroborreliosis can manifest as meningoradiculoneuritis, meningitis, cranial neuritis (predominately involving the facial nerve), brachial plexus neuritis, and mononeuritis; Lyme carditis can manifest with palpitations, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness on exercise or syncope; and rheumatological Lyme disease can present with arthralgia and myalgia. Rheumatological presentations are more common with north American acquisition and neurological presentations with European acquisition.


If Lyme disease is being considered, patients should be referred for Lyme disease serology to your regular Approved Pathology Practitioner (APP).
The testing follows a two tiered approach involving a screening immunoassay and a confirmatory immunoblot. If you have concerns or questions about the testing please contact your Approved Pathology Laboratory’s (APL) Specialist Microbiologist.


While this guidance document is focussed on the diagnosis of overseas acquired Lyme disease in Australia, treatment advice can be found at the Infectious Diseases Society of America website (http://www.idsociety.org/ViewAllLyme/). Should you require further advice please make contact with an infectious diseases physician.

 That report provides the following guideline: Australian guideline on the diagnosis of overseas acquired Lyme disease borreliosis

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