News

Gin Gin man's mystery illness

Len Balsdon of Gin Gin has been told by doctors that Lyme disease is the illness that had been affecting his health for the past eight years.
Len Balsdon of Gin Gin has been told by doctors that Lyme disease is the illness that had been affecting his health for the past eight years. Brittany Cook

A GIN GIN man has tested positive to Lyme disease, a bacteria the government says there is little evidence to suggest can be contracted in Australia.

Len Balsdon, who moved from England to Australia 27 years ago and has not travelled overseas since, said he only became unwell after being bitten by a paralysis tick in the Wongi state forest near Maryborough in 2005.

"I picked it off and didn't think too much about it," he said.

What followed was years of feeling unwell, a range of symptoms and misdiagnoses.

"I had aches and pains, blisters on my hands, I was tired all the time and I broke out in sweats," he said.

Mr Balsdon said that earlier this year he was forced to quit work after his short-term memory started to fail.

It was while watching a TV program on Lyme disease four months ago that things fell into place.

"They went through the symptoms and everything I had ticked the box," he said.

The disease is caused by the bacterium borrelia, which is carried by ticks in America and Europe.

Mr Balsdon and partner Fiona Keen tracked down a doctor who helped him get tested for the disease and, following a positive blood test, treatment has now put him on the road to recovery.

"I'm just relieved to finally have a reason for why I was so unwell," Mr Balsdon said.

Noosa GP Andrew Ladhams, who treated Mr Balsdon, said he had seen enough patients with positive results to believe that borrelia was in Australia.

"I'm seeing 15-20 people a week and 60-80% of those are testing positive to Lyme disease," he said.

Australian Biologics founder Jennie Burke said although they started testing for the borrelia organism 10 years ago, it had only been in the past few years that the number of tests requested had significantly increased.

"More and more doctors are starting to test for it," she said.

"We are getting positive results in Australia on samples that are also being test in America and returning positive results."

Ms Burke believes it was only a matter of time before the government accepted borrelia existed in Australia.

A spokesman for the state health minister's office said Lyme disease has been detected in returned travellers who had acquired the infection overseas.

"A NSW expert panel convened in 2011 concluded that it can't be ruled out that Lyme disease can be caught from Australian ticks, however there is little evidence at present for this," he said.

Symptoms can include:

  • Headache, fever, muscle soreness and unexplained fatigue
  • Tremors or unexplained shaking
  • Continual infections
  • Memory loss (short or long term)
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss

Topics:  bacteria illness lyme disease



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

'He's my house deposit': bulk bill IVF welcomed in Bundy

'I WORKED THREE JOBS': Krystal Templeton with her son Marty.

"This,” Krystal says holding a smiling Marty, " is my house deposit”

Bundy dad to be behind bars for Christmas

Man's matter adjourned until February

Woman to stand trial for armed robbery

A 35-year-old woman will stand trial accused of robbing a man at knife point inside his East Bundaberg unit.

Sarah Kay Adelle Winchester fronts the Bundaberg Magistrates Court

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

How predictable are your Netflix habits?

Stranger Things is taking the world by storm as a new-age nostalgic Sci-Fi Thriller

The new entertainment binging pattern

Kanye West is on the mend now he's back from hospital

Kanye West is more relaxed since returning home from hospital

WATCH: The young Aussie actor playing Barack Obama

A screenshot of the trailer for Barry, a new film from Netflix.

Aussie teen nails Obama's early university years

Boy George named as a coach on The Voice Australia

Iconic pop star Boy George is to appear as a coach on 'The Voice'

The first Baywatch trailer is here, and it's hilarious

From left, Jon Bass, Alex Daddario, Zac Efron, Dwayne Johnson, Kelly Rohrbach, and Ilfenesh Hadera in a scene from the movie Baywatch.

DWAYNE Johnson and Zac Efron star in TV series reboot.

Sir Mick Jagger a dad again at 73

Mick Jagger... dad again at 73

Ageing rocker obviously still getting Satisfaction

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

INSIDE STORY: The highlights of your $150 million CBD

GRAND PLAN: The highlights of the Ipswich CBD redevelopment and where they will be located.

Work on city heart's radical transformation to begin next year

VOTE IN OUR POLL: Sand mine opponents face serious dilemma

Public meeting for the proposed sand mine at Maroochydore last week.

Coast MP calls on Minister to stop KRA proposal with stroke of a pen

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!