17/07/2010 17:24:00

Words by tcsh

Beware, Beware, there’s Ticks out there!

tick

I’m sure that, if you love being in the outdoors like we do, then you will have had one of these little critters attached to you at one time or another.  They’re generally harmless and, if removed correctly, are no more than a unwelcome irritation.  However it is important to be aware that some of these little blighters might be a more serious risk to your health.

Ticks can be carriers of a very nasty condition called Lymes disease.  It is estimated than only about 30% of the UK tick population have the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that causes Lymes disease. Even if a tick latches onto you and is carrying the bacteria it doesn’t necessarily mean that you automatically contract Lymes.  As diseases go in this country, Lymes disease is relatively rare with only about 300 cases per year being recorded, but there are a number of tell tale signs that you should look for if bitten by a tick.

  • The most obvious sign of Lymes is a red, ring like rash around the site of the bite.  Known as the ‘bullseye’ rash, this will appear 2 – 40 days from the bite.  If you find this polo mint shaped rash after removing a tick then see your GP.
  • Other symptoms are various and include, Headaches, Nausea, Rashes, A Stiff neck etc etc.  For a comprehensive list of symptoms visit www.canlyme.com
  • It is understandable that with such a raft of potential symptoms Lymes is very often misdiagnosed and attributed to flu or a similar ailment.  If you know you’ve had a Tick attached and you feel unwell afterwards then you must mention it to your doctor, so he can provide prophylactic treatment.

Don’t panic though, as we mentioned at the start, Lyme’s is incredibly rare and most people have been bitten by ticks with absolutely no ill affects at all.

Happy walking  … and don’t have nightmaaares!