Widow of Lyme disease victim to sue NSW Health
By Kate Benson HEALTH
3 September 2010
A SYDNEY woman will launch a class action against NSW Health after autopsy results showed her husband had been riddled with a disease the Health Department says does not exist in Australia.
Karl McManus, 44, died in July after being bitten by a tick while filming the television show Home and Away in Sydney. The autopsy indicated he had bacteria from Lyme disease in his liver, heart, kidney and lungs.
Samples from his organs, which were tested at the Sydney laboratory Australian Biologics, will be sent to the University of Sydney and to laboratories in the United States for more testing.
”If there is duplication of results, the government cannot dispute [that Lyme exists in Australia],” his wife, Mualla Akinci, said.
Mr McManus, from Turramurra, was diagnosed with multifocal neuropathy after testing negative at an Australian laboratory for Lyme disease, but tests carried out in the US and Germany returned positive results.
NSW Health maintains that the organisms which cause Lyme disease – three species of the genus Borrelia – are not carried here by wildlife, livestock or their parasites.
It says that anyone suffering from the illness must have caught it overseas, but Ms Akinci is adamant Mr McManus was bitten by a Lyme-infested tick in Waratah Park, home of the TV show Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo.
Ms Akinci has the support of two sufferers, and hopes more people will join the class action.
She also plans to sue Hornsby Hospital where her husband was treated before his death, and will appeal a decision by the Health Care Complaints Commission not to investigate his treatment while at the hospital.
Australia has been denying Lyme exists there. Time to show them otherwise. If you are infected with Lyme/MSIDS and live in Australia, now is your time. Speak up and be heard. Please contact your local Lyme/MSIDS support group and rally together.