‘Misdiagnosis’ of Lyme disease fells Coast woman

AN ADVOCACY group says a woman was admitted to Nambour General Hospital because she was suffering from an undiagnosed case of Lyme disease.

But Sunshine Coast doctors are adamant no scientific evidence exists that the infectious tick-borne disease is present in Australia.

The Karl McManus Foundation says 29-year-old Amanda Elizabeth Loren collapsed into a coma because doctors failed to diagnose her properly.

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere.

The medical community believes there is no evidence of Lyme disease on our shores.

However, some GPs say they are seeing evidence of it in their patients and some groups - including the Karl McManus Foundation - are calling for a rethink.

Is Lyme disease in Australia?

This poll ended on 27 July 2015.

Current Results

Yes, they're covering it up


Yes, but the medical fraternity has been slow to react


No, but it something that we should be testing for


No, the science is in and the doctors know what they're doing


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

The Australian Government's chief medical officer has convened an advisory committee - which includes the Karl McManus Foundation - to explore whether there is evidence of Lyme disease in Australia, .

Foundation spokeswoman Lesley McLeod says Ms Loren landed in hospital after Coast doctors failed to diagnose her condition.

They said since the beginning of the year she bounced around several Coast hospitals before last week collapsing and slipping into a coma.

The foundation says doctors failed to diagnose that she had Lyme disease and admit her for treatment.

Ms Loren suffers from brain damage including global hypoperfusion and encephalitis, a neurological disease which cause seizures and loss of motor skills.

She is severely disabled and cannot care for herself.

Mrs McLeod says Ms Loren has Lyme disease and it amounted to medical negligence that doctors failed to treat her accordingly.

She said greater research was required into the tick-borne pathogens in Australia and accepted medical thinking needed an overhaul.

"We need testing here in Australia and at the moment we don't do that," she said.

"We do have testing for Rickettsiae but not for other tick-borne diseases. There are no good quality tests. The reason is we haven't identified which pathogens are the cause of Lyme-like diseases in Australia.

"We need the Government to fund research into the identification of pathogens so we can get on with our lives and have a future."

However, Nambour GP and Australian Medical Association Queensland North Coast representative Dr Wayne Herdy said Australian border control was world class.

"The scientific evidence is that there is no evidence of Lyme disease in Australia," he said. "There are special interest groups that make claims contrary to the scientific evidence. But the Australian medical science is very good."