Backwell Environment Trust

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Ticks and Lyme Disease

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures found in woodlands, heaths, parks and gardens throughout the UK, Europe and North America.  They feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans, and some carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease.

 

Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks.  Lyme disease can often be treated effectively if it's detected early on. But if it's not treated or treatment is delayed, there's a risk you could develop severe and long-lasting symptoms.

 

The best way to prevent the condition is to be aware of the risks when you visit areas where ticks are found and to take sensible precautions.  You can reduce the risk of infection by:

  • keeping to footpaths and avoiding long grass when out walking
  • 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)
  • checking your children's head and neck areas, including their scalp
  • making sure ticks are not brought home on your clothes
  • checking that pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur

 

If you do find a tick on your skin it is important to follow the correct procedures for its safe and complete removal.  

 

For further information and advice, please refer to the following websites:

http://patient.info/health/lyme-disease-leaflet

http://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk/about-lyme/faq/

 

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