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What is Lyme Disease

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial infection that is spread to humans by infected ticks. Ticks are tiny, spider-like insects found in woodland areas that feed on the blood of and humans.

This is a parasitic disease, highly infectious as it transmitted by infected ticks with bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.

People most at risk are dog walkers, ramblers, hikers, campers and people that spend time in woodland areas.  Ticks attach themselves to people, dogs, cats, deer, sheep, birds, rabbits and mise.

Tick bites often go unnoticed and the tick can remain feeding for several days.   Lime Disease is not contagious in humans because the infection can only be spread by ticks.

Lyme Borreliolis can affect your skin, joints, heart and nervous system.  If left untreated, Lime disease can develop more serious symptoms like Chronic Fatigue months or even years after the bite.

Symptoms:

 

    • Red circle rash around the bite area

 

    • Itching around infected area

 

    • Rash remains visible for up to 30 days after bite

 

    • Flu symptoms

 

    • Tiredness

 

    • Headaches

 

    • Swollen joints or stiff neck

 

    • Muscle pain or paralysis

 

    • Depression

 

Lyme disease is a difficult condition to diagnose, with similar symptoms of other conditions such as infections and arthritis.
Please do not attempt self diagnosis.  If in doubt, always consult the family doctor.

A blood test may be able to determine early diagnosis and if test if found positive, the condition may be treated with antibiotics.    However, not all tests are 100% reliable; the family doctor will be assessing the patient against the symptoms also.


The Health Protection Agency (HPA) estimates that there are 3,000 cases of Lyme Borreliolis in UK each year, only 20% of cases occur while people are abroad.

lyme-disease-human

Lyme Borreliolis bacterial infection

UK risk areas where a high population of ticks can be found:

 

    • Exmoor

 

    • The New Forest in Hampshire 

 

    • The South Downs 

 

    • Parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire 

 

    • Thetford Forest in Norfolk 

 

    • The Lake District 

 

    • The Yorkshire Moors 

 

    • The Scottish Highlands

 

Prevention:

 

    • There is no current vaccine to prevent Lyme disease.

 

    • Prevention is better than cure, avoid high risk areas or take extra caution.  

 

    • If you find a tick on the skin, use tweezers to pull tick away.  Avoid dark clothes as these make it harder to spot a tick.

 

    • If visiting a high tick population area take precautions: 

 

Wear long sleeves, socks over trousers, use insect repellent and carry a pair of tweezers.  Check yourself and your dog for ticks thereafter just in case.

For more information please visit the following links:

Lyme Disease Action Charity

NHS Lyme Borreliolis Advice