Coronation Street brings much needed awareness of Lyme disease

We are so grateful to the Coronation Street team for helping to sound the alarm on how important it is to prevent tick bites and seek medical advice for early symptoms. As a consequence of this storyline and media coverage, the general public will be more aware of Lyme disease, potentially seeking early diagnosis and treatment and avoiding the risk of long-term symptoms of late stage disease.

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Natasha - Portrait Image

Natasha Metcalf, Chair, Lyme Disease UK

We are delighted that Coronation Street has chosen to feature Lyme disease in their storyline. Improving awareness of preventing tick bites and the importance of early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to preventing further cases of Lyme disease.

Joseph’s experience of the illness shows the extreme symptoms that can be caused by a Lyme disease infection. Caught early enough, within a few weeks, Lyme disease can be successfully treated with high-dose oral antibiotics. It’s when the illness is left that the clinical picture becomes very different and the illness becomes much more complicated to treat.

We support patients who are struggling with long-term symptoms and accessing treatment, having missed the window to treat early disease. Until we have a better test to aid diagnosis, and accepted treatment protocols for late-stage Lyme disease on the NHS, unfortunately patients will continue to suffer. Thank you to ITV and the team at Coronation Street for helping to shine a spotlight on this disease.”

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Portrait image of Julia Knight

Julia Knight, Trustee and Press and Community Outreach Manager

Currently, testing for Lyme disease is not 100% reliable for various reasons, and frontline health practitioners get very little training on recognition and treatment of Lyme disease. This needs to change.

Far more research is needed into this condition as it is likely to increase due to ouchanging climate that seems to be causing ticks to be active most of the year when previously they were mainly active early Spring to late Autumn. Awareness is essential to equip health professionals and the public with the knowledge to prevent it and also recognise it if it occurs.”Green line

James Herbert, Trustee and Volunteer Business Development Manager

“The Coronation Street storyline does a fantastic job of raising awareness Lyme disease. As a parent of a child with Lyme disease, it clearly highlights the importance of doctors taking on board parental intuition.

For many patients and families, the road to recovery is long and complex given the lack of treatment protocols available on the NHS for late stage Lyme patients. Change is desperately needed.”

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Patient Perspectives on Coronation Street’s Lyme Disease Storyline

Jeff McCarthy Selfie

Jeff McCarthy – Read Jeff’s Story

“The more people are aware of Lyme disease and the many complex symptoms, the better. That includes the medical profession who are now more accepting of the fact Lyme disease can be contracted in the UK.

Knowledge has come a long way since my own ordeal in 2013-2015 and, while I still have Lyme disease, I can generally work with it. I’m incredibly lucky to be running and physically fit again, able to enjoy the outdoors.

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Stephen and Angela Bullough – Read Stephen’s story

“Having a media platform such as Coronation Street cover Lyme disease and the problems patients encounter is such an enormous step in the right direction, raising much needed awareness.

Hopefully this will not only reach the general public but also front line medical professionals. Had my hubby’s diagnosis come earlier, his future may have looked very different. Sadly the missed opportunity has left him with a catastrophic disability, which should and could have so easily been avoided with early diagnosis and treatment.”Green line

Tom Davies

Tom Davies – Read Tom’s story

“I think what Coronation Street is doing is great for Lyme awareness. Lyme patients need to be taken seriously and investigated thoroughly to find the infection so they are given necessary treatment.”

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Photo of Andrew McGuinness

Andrew McGuinness – Read Andrew’s story

“Well done Coronation Street for handling their Lyme disease storyline so effectively, over time, not rushed, and with the sensitivity and seriousness it deserves.

Advised by experienced team members of LDUK, the script writers and production team at ITV should be applauded for tackling such important issues head on, not exclusively from a patient’s point of view, but also from his family’s. This gives a huge boost to Lyme disease awareness across the whole of the UK.

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Samantha Ash

“Thank you to Coronation Street for raising important awareness about ticks and Lyme disease, and
to Lyme Disease UK for consulting on the scripts.  Parents need to be given the correct tools to protect their children, and raising the profile of Lyme disease on Coronation Street will hopefully enable people to have a better understanding of the potential seriousness of the disease.

The essential message is to catch it earlytake precautions, check for ticks, remove them properly
and know what symptoms to look out forLyme can be a life-changing disease if not caught early, and can manifest with debilitating multi-system symptoms.

As a parent of a child who was late diagnosed, I was thrilled to see Lyme disease featured on
Coronation Street. I hope it elevates awareness, so more people are aware of the disease and more
cases caught at the crucial early stage.”

Further information

Tick bite prevention

How to remove a tick

The erythema migrans (Lyme) rash

Tick bites and acute Lyme disease