Blogger Constance Hall, 36, reveals her frightening brush with ‘Lyme disease’ after a tick bite – despite experts claiming the condition ‘does not exist’ in Western Australia
- Perth blogger Constance Hall has issued a warning about Lyme disease
- She was bitten by a tick while gardening and developed a telltale ‘bullseye’ rash
- Bullseye rashes expand in rings around infected bites which cause the condition
- But doctors say the auto-immune condition does not exist in Western Australia
Blogger Constance Hall has issued a warning to her million-plus followers after a brush with self-diagnosed Lyme disease, an auto-immune condition caused by infected tick bites – which medical experts say does not exist in Western Australia.
In a lengthy Facebook post shared Monday, the 36-year-old mother-of-seven, from Perth, revealed she had developed a ‘bullseye’ rash on her stomach – the first telltale sign of the condition which leads to chronic fatigue and debilitating migraines.
Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which can be transmitted by an infected tick or animal bite.
However that strain of bacteria is not native to Australia which makes contracting the condition highly unlikely, according to the Department of Health’s official website.
Outspoken mummy blogger Constance Hall (pictured on April 25) had no idea she had been bitten by a tick until a prominent ‘bullseye’ rash developed across her stomach
The mother-of-seven compared her infected bite (right) to the example on the website of Lyme Disease Action, an organisation that raises awareness about the auto-immune condition
Research is ongoing to determine whether native Australian ticks can carry Lyme disease.
While Constance can’t remember being bitten, just weeks before the rash appeared she said she saw the first tick she had seen in her life – stuck in the back of her youngest son Raja’s neck.
‘[My husband] Denim saw it, had clearly only just attached and I screamed and he removed it properly to get the head out. It was f*****g rank,’ she said.
Lyme disease in Australia
Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria transmitted in a tick bite. The types of tick that carry the bacteria are not native to Australia and it’s not likely you can catch Lyme disease in Australia.
Researchers are investigating whether Australian ticks can cause Lyme disease or Lyme disease-like symptoms. People bitten by ticks in USA, Europe or Asia can return to Australia with Lyme disease.
Ticks are insect-sized eight-legged animals that can cling onto the skin. They can pierce the skin and inject their saliva, which may contain the bacteria, into the wound to draw blood for food. A tick has to be attached for at least 36 hours before the bacteria can be transmitted.
Most people with Lyme disease notice a rash that appears between 3 and 30 days after a tick bite. The rash may be tender but it usually isn’t itchy or painful. Not everybody with Lyme disease gets a rash but most experience flu-like symptoms.
If left untreated, Lyme disease can spread and cause infection in the brain, heart and joints.
Constance smiles for a photo with biological daughters Billie-Violet (right) and Arlo-Love (far left), and twins Rumi and Snow (centre)
Because of this, Constance assumes she was bitten while gardening and simply brushed the blood-sucking bug away without realising.
On the advice of hundreds of followers, she saw a doctor who assured her that Lyme disease does not exist in Western Australia.
But when Constance demanded to be treated regardless, he obliged her with a prescription for antibiotics to put her mind at rest.
Symptoms of Lyme disease vary in severity but typically include a rash and general flu-like complaints which – if left untreated – can spread and cause serious infections in the brain, heart and joints.
Constance did not mention any of these besides the bullseye rash, but felt so concerned that she went on to visit a naturopath who gave her probiotics to clear any infection.
She said she had been motivated to demand treatment by the memory of a young writer who died from bowel cancer after doctors dismissed her symptoms as harmless everyday ailments.
‘In her blog, she claimed she had known something was seriously wrong for a long time,’ she recalled.
Constance said she had been motivated to demand treatment by the memory of a young writer who died from bowel cancer after doctors dismissed her symptoms as harmless everyday complaints
‘The specialists told her if she had been thoroughly investigated when she first expressed something was wrong, she would have caught it in time and not be writing from her death bed.’
Constance signed off with sympathy for people living with Lyme disease and other chronic conditions that might have been avoided with proper investigation.
‘All my love to all those Lyme sufferers out there who have been told the aren’t sick, or they’ve made it up or their illness is a mystery. I’m so sorry,’ she said.