Summer is coming and many of us are heading back into the great outdoors. Today I picked up two ticks on my walk so yes – its tick time again!
Basic advice from our previous tick blogs hasn’t changed. But here is a reminder for you all.
Tick may carry a bacteria which can enter our bodies when ticks such our blood. This may cause an illness called Lyme Disease.
The most famous symptom of Lyme disease is a bull’s eye rash consisting of a red ring-shaped rash which gradually spreads from the site of the tick bite. It appears 2 – 40 days after infection. However less than 50% of people with Lyme get this rash. If left untreated a whole range of symptoms can develop, including a flu-like illness, facial palsy, viral-type meningitis, arthritic-like joint pains. If you suspect you have Lyme disease then head straight to your GP.
Removal of a tick using tweezers
Attached ticks should be removed promptly. The best method is simply to pull the tick out with tweezers as close to the skin as possible, and avoiding crushing the body of the tick or removing the head from the tick’s body. Alternatively you can use specialist pet tick twisters. The risk of infection increases with the time the tick is attached, and if a tick is attached for fewer than 24 hours, infection less likely.
Preventing Lyme disease
You can reduce the risk of infection by:
- wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeved shirt and trousers tucked into your socks)
- wearing light-coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes
- using insect repellent on exposed skin
- inspecting your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband) – remove any ticks you find promptly
- checking that pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur
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