BEGA Public School Hall was the venue for one of 50 events held around the globe on Saturday as part of World-wide Lyme Awareness Project (WWLAP).
Event organisers, a handful of people from the local community with Lyme disease, said the aim of WWLAP was to raise awareness of illness spread by ticks, which is now reaching epidemic proportions around the world.
Speaking at the event, one of the organisers, Jacqui van Teulingen, said that “ticks are considered to be natures ‘dirty needles’.
Evidence is emerging that bacterial infections such as Borrelia and Bartonella and the malaria-like Babesia are being widely spread by tick bites around the globe.”
Last year an estimated 300,000 people were diagnosed with Lyme disease - caused by the bite of an infected tick - in the U.S. alone.
Longitudinal studies in Eastern Europe suggest 5 per cent of the population may have the infection. Lyme is emerging as a serious pandemic of this generation.
Locally, the NSW Government and large sections of the medical profession deny that Lyme disease exists.
This makes it extremely difficult for the thousands of Australians diagnosed with Lyme disease to access treatment, she said.
“The aim of WWLAP is to raise awareness of Lyme disease in the community. The best thing we can do is prevent people, particularly children, from developing this debilitating life-long illness by avoiding tick bites in the first instance and by aggressively treating the infection in its early stages should you encounter a tick bite,” Ms van Teulingen said.
“Once the infection is established it can be very hard to get rid of. The bacteria travel to different parts of the body in the bloodstream, where they lodge and cause inflammation. The infection has been linked to many conditions including arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, neuralgia, MS, Parkinson’s disease, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, and Motor Neurone disease. It can also cause heart, gall bladder, thyroid and adrenal gland problems. Current treatments involve antibiotic medications that may need to go on for years.”
“Prevention and/or early detection of the infection is a much more successful strategy for treatment of Lyme disease. By organising awareness-raising events like this one in Bega today we hope to give the community the knowledge and the tools to prevent tick bites and to pro-actively deal with their GP to treat illness following tick bites. If we can save one person from succumbing to Lyme disease then the event has been a success” Ms van Teulingen said.
For local people with Lyme disease the event provided an opportunity to connect with others and learn about important treatments available locally, from Homeopaths, Naturopaths and other natural therapy providers. ‘The Health Address’ was on hand to answer questions and provide treatment options for lLyme disease through Rife therapy.
More information on Lyme disease is at www.lymedisease.org.au and www.karlmcmanusfoundation.org.au