Weymouth Pavilion to Glow Green for Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Published on:
Tuesday 14th May 2019

World Lyme Day on May 1st, marks the beginning of a month of Lyme awareness projects and activities around the world. Lyme awareness month is widely embraced in many countries, with fundraising and awareness events taking place and the lighting up, in green, of major international landmarks.

To support Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Weymouth Pavilion will be glowing green between the 20th– 26th May in a bid to raise awareness for the disease. #LIGHTUPFORLYME #WAKEUPTOLYME

‘Wake Up to Lyme’ Campaign
UK Charity, Lyme Disease UK, is kicking off its third ‘Wake Up to Lyme’ campaign to raise even more awareness of Lyme disease and the importance of tick bite prevention this year. 

Their campaign consists of sending out awareness packs containing leaflets, posters and car stickers to be distributed across the country in GP surgeries, pharmacies, vet clinics, schools, libraries, shop windows, supermarkets, military bases, post offices, recreational and community spaces and in people’s workplaces.

The campaign will raise awareness of how people can prevent Lyme disease by protecting themselves from tick bites and teach correct tick removal techniques and how to recognise the early symptoms of Lyme disease. The campaign also stresses the importance of early treatment for anyone who experiences the Lyme disease (EM) rash or for anyone who becomes unwell following a tick bite. The charity hopes that their awareness campaign reduces the number of new infections this spring/summer and educates people on how to enjoy the outdoors safely.

This year they have already had requests for over 600 awareness packs from the NHS, recreational parks and schools, to name a few. They are also running the campaign across their very active social media platforms and engage their Online Community in helping to spread the word.

The need for greater awareness of Lyme disease

It is vital to inform people about Lyme disease, because everyone who goes outside is at risk and the illness is often misdiagnosed due to a lack of knowledge amongst doctors.

  • Current testing methods are inadequate giving false negative results, and we do not have a test which can tell us when Lyme disease has been cured. It is essential for doctors to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the disease so that it does not go undiagnosed. Many doctors are unaware that NICE guidelines for Lyme disease were published last year.
  • Treatment is more likely to be effective if Lyme disease is diagnosed early.
  • Early symptoms can include an EM rash in the shape of bull’s-eye rash (but the rash can also be atypical in appearance), swollen glands, fever, headaches, numbness and tingling, muscle and joint pain and fatigue. If the disease is left untreated it can result in cardiac problems, chronic pain, neurological complications and other disabling symptoms.
  • Awareness is crucial as people need to learn how to protect themselves, their families, and their pets from this potentially dangerous disease. In 2016, the Big Tick Project discovered that a third of dogschecked in a study, had ticks attached which their owners did not know about.

Public Health England estimates that there are around 2,000 - 3,000 new cases per year but the true number is unknown, and likely to be far higher. The fact is that thousands of people will be infected this year and many are likely to be undiagnosed or under-treated. This may leave them with slowly developing disabilities which are misdiagnosed as conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. Many of the members of the charities Online Community group have had difficult and prolonged experiences trying to obtain an accurate diagnosis.

Examples of patient stories can be found here: 

Find out more at www.wakeuptolyme.com where you can request awareness information, join in on social media using #wakeuptolyme and @uklyme or donate to Lyme Disease UK. You can also learn more about the complexities of Lyme disease testing, diagnosis and treatment at www.lymediseaseuk.com.