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 Full text 
Thursday, 15 November 2018 - Strasbourg Provisional edition

Lyme disease (Borreliosis) (B8-0514/2018)

  Lynn Boylan (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, I welcome today’s vote on Lyme disease and the calls made for greater ambition to improve diagnostics treatment and prevention of this disease. It will help give a voice to all those who suffer from Lyme and associated tick-borne diseases.

Infected ticks and Lyme disease are spreading geographically, driven by climate change and land-use change. Symptoms can go unnoticed and often doctors are not trained in looking for those symptoms, thereby delaying medical intervention. Current diagnostic tests are also not reliable enough. The antibody-based only test is 30% to 50% accurate and the PCR test is only 62% accurate. This means that the actual number of Lyme cases is much higher than what is believed.

It is crucial to focus our attention on the sharing of best practice, patient—centred research and patient—centric guidelines. Patients must be involved in any new developments. I welcome the inclusion of Lyme disease on the EU list of communicable diseases and epidemiological surveillance to facilitate the monitoring of the EU distribution of the disease.

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