Sunday, December 5

Conservative MP Michelle Donelan diagnosed with Lyme disease after conversation with constituent



A Conservative MP received an early diagnosis for Lyme disease after talking with a constituent about the infectious illness.

Michelle Donelan, MP for Chippenham, believes she was bitten by a tick a week ago.

The 32-year-old said she ignored the resulting rash until she researched the symptoms after discussing the level of care for Lyme disease.

Ms Donelan told the Gazette & Herald: “I knew that I wasn’t well, I had the rash for a week and it was getting worse but I thought nothing of it.

On Friday I held my surgery and had a chap come in and he wanted to talk about level of care and Lyme disease.

I did a bit of research on it and saw the symptoms and that’s how my rash looked.

She posted on Facebook, she has been receiving treatment at Bath’s Royal United Hospital, joking that it appears MP surgeries can help the MP too.

Lyme disease is contracted when infected ticks attach themselves to people, biting them and transferring a bacterial infection – Lyme disease – into the blood stream.

The illness causes flu-like symptoms, neurological damage and fatigue. It can also cause muscle and joint pain.

She added: “I had a bullseye mark half the size of my arm and that’s when I knew what it was.

I was quite lucky, as if you don’t get it really early it can damage your nerves and can eventually lead to death.

According to Public Health England, there are around 3,000 new cases of Lyme Disease each year in the UK.

The number of diagnosed cases have quadrupled over the last 12 years.

Ms Donelan said of her current condition:”I feel absolutely terrible, I’m suffering from severe tiredness and feeling sick, it’s not just the rash but hopefully the antibiotics will kick in.

It’s lucky I had the rash though otherwise I wouldn’t have realised that I had been bitten. I’m going to carry on working although I feel like I have been run over by a bus.