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Lyme disease

With the forecast for the Bank Holiday weekend to be sunny, many will be looking to take the opportunity to get out into the countryside. Unfortunately, we are now in Tick Season, These tiny bugs can carry and pass onto humans, when bitten, Lyme Disease.  A debilitating and little known about condition.

Hampshire County Council have detailed below a list of things you can do to prevent being bitten and what to do if you are.

Ticks are typically found in woodland, grassland, moorland or heathland but are also found in urban parks and gardens. When out walking, remember to keep to footpaths, avoiding long grass

‘Tick tips’ for walkers include:
✅Wear appropriate clothing (a long-sleeve shirt and trousers tucked into your socks);
✅Use an insect repellent;
✅Wear light coloured fabrics that may help you spot a tick on your clothes;
✅ Inspect your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck and skin folds (armpits, groin and waistband)
✅Check your children’s head and neck areas, including their scalp (skin on top of their head)
✅Check that pets do not bring ticks into your home in their fur.

If you do get bitten by a tick, removing it quickly and correctly can help to reduce any potential risk. The only safe way to remove a tick is to use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, or an easy-to-use device which can be purchased from pharmacies or vets.

✅Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Pull upwards slowly and firmly, as mouthparts left in the skin can cause a local infection
✅Once removed, apply antiseptic to the bite area and keep an eye on it for several weeks for any changes
✅Contact your GP if you begin to feel unwell or develop a circular red skin rash, often described as a bull’s-eye rash, and remember to tell them that you were bitten by a tick.

See NHS Choices for more information on signs, symptoms and treatments for Lyme disease. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease/