Lyme Disease, the silent killer or is it
Recent press articles paint a deadly picture of Lyme disease, publishing advice on what to do should you discover you have been bitten by a tick. While we can’t imagine its much fun to have this disease, you probably do not have to check your body, while in the shower, after walking the dog down the high street; although…
Lyme disease is treatable with many cases going unreported with no need of intervention but for some there is a risk of a longer-term illness called ‘Post Infectious Lyme Disease’. A further condition is named ‘Chronic Lyme Disease’but many experts do not believe in its existence. Lyme disease gets its name from Old Lyme, Connecticut where the first case was officially recorded in 1975. it is a bacterial infection carried by ticks. Ticks are small found in woodland and heath areas. A thirsty, hungry tick lands on an animal such as a deer, drinks a little blood and then lands on us humans, kind of like a pubcrawl and while drinking our blood transfers the disease to us.
If i get bit by a Tick will I contract Lyme disease?
Not everyone who is bitten by a tick will get the disease.The symptoms of Lyme disease can take several weeks to manifest and it can include a rash, but not always. The rash is very distinctive and is known as a bullseye rash, a bit like the RAF symbol with no blue colouring. Other symptoms are akin to flu –high temperature, feeling cold, shivering along with headaches and joint and muscle pain.If you have found a tick and you later develop these symptoms yourGP will prescribe a prolonged course of antibiotics. You must tell your GP have found a tick and where you had been when you discovered it otherwise,they will assume you have flu and send you on your way.
If you do find a tick remove it carefully. We have heard that some people try to burn them off with cigarettes or apply Vaseline but that will just push the tick further into your skin. A simple tick remover, the same as you buy for your dog is the better option. Grab the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull gently. Once removed dispose of the tick and wash the bite with antiseptic or soapy water.
Preventionis always better than cure and you can take a few steps should you wish. Theeasiest is to spray yourself with a good insect repellent – Deet. Wear longsleeve clothing and trousers not shorts. Wear gators around your boots.
Did you know?
- Lyme disease is found all over the World
- Less than 50% of people get a bullseye rash
- A deer tick is about the size of a poppy seed
- There is no evidence that the disease can be transmitted from one person to another
- Deet was developed in America after their experience in jungle warfare
- and was later used in Vietnam
- There other tick-borne diseases, Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Rickettsiosis