HARD ROAD: Lyndy Rees, Jamie David, Steve Young and Sara Walker are advocating to the Australian government to recognise Lyme disease.
HARD ROAD: Lyndy Rees, Jamie David, Steve Young and Sara Walker are advocating to the Australian government to recognise Lyme disease. Claudia Jambor

Set back for Lyme disease sufferers

A SENATE inquiry into Lyme-like illness has been lost as the Federal Parliament dissolved both its houses this week.

It's a devastating blow for the thousands of people who have Lyme-like illness in Australia.

Many of which, like Coffs Harbour woman Lyndy Rees, were diagnosed with Lyme disease overseas.

Ms Rees is a co-ordinator LymeLinks - a local support group for sufferers on the Coffs Coast.

"I'm just disgusted with our federal and state governments despite the scientific evidence about the existence of Lyme disease in Australia, it's still not recognised," she said.

"Why is this disease being treated so differently than anything else?"

Lyme Disease Association of Australia president Sharon Whiteman shared in the disappointment felt by Lyme sufferers nationwide.

"It is a big disappointment and we're having to work with patients as strongly as we can," Ms Whiteman said.

Ms Whiteman said any political support to revive the quest to recognise Lyme disease might happen after the election.

"Nothing will happen until after the election ... all business has seized and they'll be focusing on campaigning, that's just the reality and we have to live with that," she said.

Ms Whiteman said hope for recognising the tick-borne disease in Australia lives on through Independent Victorian senator, John Madigan - who led the push for the Senate Inquiry.

"Senator Madigan has committed to us that he'll never give up whether he's in Parliament or not and that he's use his contacts and influence and passion and commitment to continue to support us," she said.

Mr Madigan also helped fast track the release of the interim report on the Inquiry into Chronic Disease Prevention and Management in Primary Health Care prior to Parliament's dissolution.

The report included a number of recommendations for the Federal Government including the development of a case definition for tick-borne and Lyme-like illnesses for addition to the national notifiable disease register.


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