If you’re visiting the countryside, you should be aware of Lyme Disease which has been on the increase in recent years. We have not had any reports of people contracting Lyme Disease at Deers leap, but it makes sense that this can occur anywhere in the countryside so it’s worth knowing about.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be spread to humans by infected ticks. It’s usually easier to treat if it’s diagnosed early.
Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a red, circular skin rash around a tick bite.
Ticks are tiny, spider-like creatures that live in woods and areas with long grass. They are found all over the UK.
Ticks don’t jump or fly – they attach to the skin of animals or humans that brush past them. Once a tick bites into the skin it feeds on blood for a few days before dropping off.
This can appear up to 30 days after being bitten by a tick. The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s eye on a dartboard.
Not everyone with Lyme disease gets the rash. Some people also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as:
- a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- muscle and joint pain
- tiredness and loss of energy
See a GP if you have symptoms of Lyme disease.
Let the GP know if:
- you’ve been bitten by a tick
- you’ve never seen a tick on your skin – but you’ve spent time in woods or areas with long grass
Not all tick bites cause Lyme disease
Only a small number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. A tick bite can only cause Lyme disease in humans if the tick has already bitten an infected animal.
It’s still important to be aware of ticks and remove them safely as soon as possible just in case.
Public Health England has produced a factsheet on tick bites and your health. This gives important details on:
- the health risks of tick bites
- how to check your skin for ticks
- how to remove a tick
- how to prevent tick bites
Tick bites aren’t always painful. You may not notice a tick unless you see it on your skin. Regularly check your skin and your children or pets’ skin after being outdoors.