TickTalk Ireland are spreading the word that tick season is upon us and warning us to be vigilant.
They advise, when it comes to Lyme disease, prevention is better than cure – Lyme disease is currently the world’s fastest growing vector-borne infection.
May to October is prime time for tick bites and Lyme disease. However, ticks can be active all year-round once temperature is above 3.5c.
If Lyme disease is left untreated further symptoms can develop and it can become problematic to treat.
They bite and feed off mammals (dogs, cats, deer, badgers, birds etc.) and pick up diseases from these animals. If an infected tick bites a person, they can pass on diseases to them.
Lyme disease a nasty disease that ticks carry.
To reduce the risk of tick bites, wear trousers and long sleeve tops when out walking in the countryside and tuck your trousers into socks.
Check yourself and children for ticks regularly and apply insect repellent to any exposed skin.
If you are bitten, remove the tick carefully, seal it in a plastic bag and place in the freezer. After removing the tick wash your hands with soap and water and apply an antiseptic cream where the tick was removed.
If you should develop any flu like symptoms or develop a rash, take the tick with you to the GP.
Symptoms include fever, a “Bulls Eye” rash (not always visible), muscle pain, fatigue and tiredness.
Other symptoms can include neurological symptoms, such as temporary paralysis of the facial muscle, tingling along with numbness, tremors and heart palpitations.
Testing & Treatment
Testing for Lyme disease is done by testing bloods for an immune response to the Lyme (Borrelia) bacteria. Immediate treatment with Antibiotic is essential.
TickTalk Ireland, a support group which encourages awareness, prevention and treatment of Lyme Disease (Borreliosis) in Ireland, state that the quality of testing is controversial and stress that Lyme disease should not be ruled out through a blood test alone.
Each diagnosis should be supported by a careful clinical (symptom) assessment.