Question to the Minister for Health ( Mr James Reilly, TD)
To ask the Minister for Health the diagnosis and treatment facilities available for Lyme disease and if there are plans to expand these facilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Jerry Buttimer
Since September 2011, Lyme disease has been a notifiable disease under the Infectious Diseases Regulations. The standard approach to the treatment of Lyme Disease is to follow the guidance laid out in the Infectious Diseases Society of America guidelines on the clinical assessment, treatment and prevention of Lyme disease. This is accepted as being the most up to date synthesis of best available evidence on the clinical management of Lyme disease and treatment of Lyme Disease is based upon this guidance.
The acute tertiary hospitals in Ireland have the diagnostic and treatment facilities and personnel for the management of Lyme disease. In addition, a network of infectious disease specialists is available in all the major centres to provide consultative, expert advice in the management of Lyme borreliosis. I am advised by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre that there were eight cases of Lyme neuroborreliosis notified in 2012. Lyme neuroborreliosis is at the more severe end of the spectrum of Lyme borreliosis and as such it is possible that there may be more people with the milder form of the disease. Given the numbers of cases of Lyme borreliosis in Ireland, I am confident that the facilities available for the diagnosis and treatment of the condition are commensurate with the burden which the disease imposes.