According to new research from the State Serum Institute (SSI), more Danes than previously believed have been infected with Neuroborreliosis, the dangerous tick-carrying disorder of the central nervous system that is more commonly known as Lyme Disease.
The number of Danes who have been infected – primarily by the Borrelia bacteria – is two and a half times greater than previously registered.
“It was a surprise to us. We didn’t think that the prevalence of the illness was so high in Denmark,” Kåre Mølbak, a doctor at SSI, told DR Nyheder.
“GPs have a duty to report the illness to SSI, but that hasn’t happened in hundreds of cases.”
Mølbak said the news further underlined the importance of the public being aware that the tick is the most dangerous animal in Denmark’s forests.
SSI discovered there were 533 positive samples in the national microbiology database, while just 2017 cases were reported to SSI by doctors.
The islands of Fanø, Læsø, Samsø, Langeland, Ærø and Sejerø all had high instances of the illness per capita, and the diagnosis occurred most often in children aged 5-9 and the over-65s.
Neuroborreliosis can lead to nerve paralysis, meningoradiculitis, cranial nerve abnormalities, and altered mental status.