What is Lyme Disease?
Whilst it may sound like the result of enjoying one too many citrus fruits, Lyme Disease is actually a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks.
Symptoms of the disease are not always immediate, and are often similar to those of the flu. These may include:
- Rash - Replicates either a bull’s-eye or one with red and slightly raised edges
- Muscle and joint pain
- Tiredness and loss of energy
The earlier these signs are picked up on, the better. If you are aware of having being bitten by a tick, and especially if you are experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible.If you’re out and about, particularly in grassy and forested areas, make sure to check yourself for ticks. Most tick bites are harmless. Lyme disease only occurs if the tick that bites you has already bitten an infected animal.
Take precaution when removing them by using fine-tipped tweezers (rather than the broad-tipped type used for plucking eyebrows) or special tick-removal tools and grip the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull up slowly making sure not to crush it, and ensuring the head remains attached, and after successfully removing and disposing of it, wash the bite with either antiseptic or soap and water. Learn more about tick removal here.
There are many ways to prevent being bitten by ticks that are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
- Having some knowledge of ticks will help to understand the times when to take extra care. For example, the peak time for ticks is during the summer between May and September and they are most active at dawn and dusk.
- Layers - whilst during the summer it may be harder to wear extra layers, consider this when partaking in particular activities in woodland areas, and take a look at tick repellent products.
- Visit a health practitioner if symptoms carry on.