Ticks and Lyme Disease

 

An Article by Worsley Training – First Aid Training in and around Wiltshire

 

Ticks and Lyme Disease

We are back in tick season (predominantly spring and autumn) so it’s important to know what to look out for, to avoid potentially catching debilitating Lyme Disease.

Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, so easy to miss and their bites are not painful. Therefore, if you have been outdoors, especially in long grass, please do check yourselves fully, especially your dark, moist areas!

If you find one, use a cheap tick removal tool e.g. twisters or cards to remove the whole tick in one piece and kill it. Never burn them or smother in oil or Vaseline as this will distress them and cause them to regurgitate any pathogens into your bloodstream. Also check your pets, as 1 in 3 dogs have a tick on them which then can fall off in your home.

Contrary to popular belief, there is no minimum time for a tick to be attached before it transmits infection, so watch for the early symptoms which include flu, headaches and fatigue and maybe, but not always, the classic bulls-eye rash.

Government estimates say 5-8 people are infected with Lyme Disease each day in the UK and early treatment with antibiotics is vital to ensure full recovery, before the neurological problems and joint pain start.

 

So as always, prevention is better than cure:

• wear insect repellent on your clothes and skin

• stick to footpaths to avoid walking through long grass

• tuck trousers into socks or wear gaiters

• wear light coloured clothing to help see the ticks better

• shower and check for ticks when home

 

See lymediseaseuk.com for further information.

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