Member States of the European Union (EU) will continue to report cases of Lyme disease to the European Center for Disease Control. Studies have shown that morbidity is rising in many Member States and also the prevalence of sick ticks due to climate change.
- The number of cases of infection in Latvia has decreased.
- Many countries in the EU do not collect Lyme Disease data.
- The EU lacks common treatment practices and research.
- EC: Citizens should be educated about disease and prevention measures.
- EU countries must continue to report cases of illness.
- This information will be collected by the European Center for Disease Control for the purpose of studying the spread of the disease.
The European Parliament calls for the development of a plan to combat the disease – to obtain more complete dissemination data and to develop a common treatment and diagnostic practice.
Meanwhile, the number of cases of infection in Latvia has decreased in recent years.
In many European Member States, data on Lyme disease are currently not collected. The lack of data has an impact on the possibility of funding research, a Finnish MEP Merlin Kylanen, a member of the European Parliament, has been debating in the week ahead of the European Commission.
The European Parliament has explained that in Finland the winters have become warmer and the prevalence of ticks is higher, but there are very different treatment experiences in the Member States and there is a lack of common practice.
"Symptoms are very different and some patients eventually experience serious complications. Researching antibodies in the blood is also problematic because sometimes they do not show up in the blood if the infection was a short time ago. Also, sometimes the infection is in the blood, but it is difficult to diagnose. Unfortunately, Lyme's disease diagnosis and treatment are not in good condition and many studies are still needed. Sometimes Lyme's disease becomes chronic, often people continue to have symptoms for many years after antibiotic therapy, sometimes these people stay without proper care and treatment and also lose their ability to work, "said Kylanen.
Meanwhile, Commissioner for Justice, Consumer and Gender Equality Commissioner Vera Jourova underlined that there is a need for more education in the Member States on Lyme disease and possible prevention measures.
"Lyme disease is a serious health threat to European citizens who are prone to ticks and infections. Recent studies have shown that 22 people out of a hundred thousand are infected with Lyme disease every year in Europe, and Lyme disease is an increasing phenomenon in several Member States. Unfortunately, there is still no vaccine against Lyme disease, so general safety precautions should be taken. People need to be knowledgeable, wear suitable clothing when they go to nature, and must be able to properly remove the spittoon. The highest risk group is the people working in agriculture and forestry, "said Jourova.
Laima disease in Latvia has been registered since 1986, however, the number of cases in recent years has not increased significantly.
The European Commission, on the basis of the scientific evaluation, has already decided to include Lyme disease – neurobiocytic disease – in the European Union's list of infectious diseases. States should continue to report cases of illness and information will be collected by the European Center for Disease Control, starting next year, in order to be able to assess trends in the spread of the disease in Europe.