Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Don't get ticked off - wear trousers

Something not a huge amount of people are aware of is that are all at risk when walking in the countryside from tick bites and subsequently the potential for Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is a relatively uncommon disease however it is becoming more and more frequent.

Ticks inhabit long grass and wait for an animal or human to walk by at which point they attach themselves to the passerby and bite them in order to feed off the blood of the host. Some ticks are carriers of bacteria which can potentially be harmful to humans. Whilst some people can carry Lyme Disease, they may never show any symptoms whilst others can have their skin affected and others can suffer joint pains, affects to the heart or their nervous symptoms.

These infections from ticks can be easily avoided by wearing long trousers in order to stop the ticks from being able to attach themselves to the skin. As much as we enjoy putting shorts on in the hotter months we can open ourselves up for a dose of Lyme Disease.

If you do get bitten then you should attempt to remove the tick by grabbing it as close to the skin as possible and by turning the tick anti clockwise whilst pulling it out with tweezers. If you develop an expanding reddish round rash, it may then develop with people experiencing flu symptoms. If you experience any of these symptoms you should see the doctor, treatment is possible with antibiotics and the earlier it is diagnosed the better.

Ticks live in warm moist environments so are generally active between April and October in the British countryside however particularly dry years cause the ticks to dehydrate and die. On the other hand should we experience a particularly warm winter we could see ticks being active throughout the winter months.


Janne@LapplandTimes said...

I'm glad we don't have ticks in this area of Lapland.

The Odyssee said...

Interesting info - Thanks

The Weekend Dude said...

Pleasure, it's good for people to be aware of the little blighters. They are pretty uncommon however it's good to know they are there in the event of a bite. It does put you off getting your legs out though which is a shame but always better safe than sorry I reckon.

Joanne said...

It is good to see you raising awareness of this dreadful disease.
Our HPA down play the risks so that many people are not even aware that it can be caught in the UK although 2008 HPA figures show 817 positively tested cases for England and Wales. Still not puiblished for 2009. What they fail to point out is that CDC in USA and HPA in Scotland recognise the real figures to be 10x that.

Of the 2228 members of chat line Eurolyme many of us have been sick many years before finally being diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

I had been chronically ill 4 years before my GP suspected Lyme Disease when I responded to a chance course of antibiotics. As my symptoms progressed I had been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, arthritis, muscle weakness, musculo skeletal disease, Polymyalgia Rheumatica and then finally Lyme disease. It has taken many months of antibiotics following ILADS Guidelines to recover my health and my life.

There are many more patients like myself whose doctors do not recognise the serious risks of tick bites, not everyone gets the typical Bulls eye rash although if you do you are infected, not everyone remembers the sometimes poppy seed sized tick that bit them, doctors don't question Summer flu' a red flag for Lyme Disease, blood tests can miss upto 50% of cases being antigen tests.

So awareness is so important and precautions taken when enjoying our beautiful countryside.

Joanne said...

Many thanks for your comment on my blog please do put a link on your blog, if it stops just one person from becoming seriously ill with Lyme Disease it will be good.

Maz said...

Very useful info this - whilst in northern Denmark we were running through high grass and my partner, who's a Dane, as well as her family, just check each other as a matter of course. It's second nature to them but we do seem to have a lack of awareness. I'll link this on my blog and see if we can't get this moving around the community. Thank you both for your efforts.

The Weekend Dude said...

Joanne - no problem at all, the more people are aware the better.

Maz - many thanks for the link, it's much apprecaited

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