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simon3
2017-07-06 09:12:39
Stopping Lyme disease - a victory for stupid
You will see numerous articles and appeals for example on Mountaineering Ireland's website about avoiding Lyme disease and dealing with the ticks that cause it. Strongly to be supported.

There was an interesting article in New Scientist magazine published on 1 April 2017. I wish it were a joke article for the day but it wasn't. Lyme disease apparently is exploding partly because of climate change. Some years are far worse than others. The article goes on to say:

"The best approach would be to vaccinate people at risk - but there is currently no vaccine. We used to have one, but thanks to anti-vaccination activists, that is no longer the case.

In the late 1990s, a race was on to make the first Lyme disease vaccine. By December 1998, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the release of Lymerix, developed by SmithKlineBeecham, now GSK. But the company voluntarily withdrew the drug after only four years.

This followed a series of lawsuits - including one where recipients claimed Lymerix caused chronic arthritis. Influenced by now-discredited research purporting to show a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, activists raised the question of whether the Lyme disease vaccine could cause arthritis."

Of course none of this was supported by the evidence as the article goes on to explain but that didn't stop the fake facts and lawsuits.

More happily, they also mention a new drug "Valneva" in early human trials from a company in France. Perhaps within about 6 years a new drug will appear.

It now appears that western democracy has to regularly deal with false facts and the raucous and seemingly plausible but quite unjustified claims of such as the anti-vaxxers (along with climate deniers etc etc). Unfortunately this has even impacted our happy haven and shangri-la of hillwalking. Be prepared therefore to support this new drug against the likely struggle with the anti-science brigade. It's a while away, but you can practice on the anti-MMR crowd - support prosecutions of those who allow measles to take hold but reason with those that can be reasoned with.

In the meanwhile get the knowledge about removing ticks. The last time I got these was on a walk through high heather in Donegal. You have about 36 hours to get them off, which should be done properly, and some more time before the possible infection takes hold. The goats in the area added to my perception of risk so I decided to get the antibiotics to deal with any possible problem.

Make Lymes something like tetanus - for which you still can and should get a shot for. The chief enemy to this rational approach was and is, regrettably, the deniers, fake news and stupidity in charge.

Full article: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23431195-800-lyme-disease-is-set-to-explode-and-you-cant-protect-yourself/
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