According to the Big Tick Project, Bath, Bristol and the surrounding areas are a high risk for Lyme’s Disease. The recent warm weather has led to increased warnings about ticks and the risk of catching Lyme’s Disease. The disease is said to affect 3,000 people a year.
The insects are typically the size of a pinhead and while most are harmless, they can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme’s Disease. Some people don’t react at all the being bitten and don’t feel any pain or itchiness, making them easy to overlook.
Despite the South West being classed as a high zone, Lyme’s Disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics if detected early on. The tick must be attached to a person for 36-48 hours before the bacteria can spread, so checking your skin when returning from a walk can be an easy way to avoid contracting Lyme’s Disease.
If you do find a tick on yourself or your children, you can remove it by gently gripping as close to the skin as possible, use a pair of tweezers, but be careful not to squash it, pull steadily away from the skin without twisting or crushing.
Once the tick is removed, gently wash the area with water and soap and apply an antiseptic cream.
Symptoms of Lyme’s Disease include a circular red rash around the bite, these can appear up to three months after being bitten and last several weeks, most appear within the first four weeks. Not everyone will develop a rash, but will instead experience flu-like symptoms in the early stages such as high temperature, headaches, muscle and joint pain and a lack of energy.
Head to http://www.bigtickproject.co.uk/ to find out more about awareness and avoidance of tick bites, as well as a map to identify the threat of tick bites around the country.
If you are concerned after receiving an insect bite, speak to your doctor.