Farmers warned not to take Lyme Disease lightly
"You need to highlight the very real danger of this serious disease," said a man to me one night in Buncrana, Co Donegal.
We were both at an 'Expand Your Horizons' evening seminar. This seminar was jointly organised by the National Rural Network (www.nationalruralnetwork.ie) and Teagasc.
The purpose of this nationwide series of seminars was to provide information on the range of services, funding and training opportunities available in rural Ireland and to give people the opportunity to make valuable contacts with various agencies.
He explained to me that he has been suffering from the symptoms of Lyme disease for several years now. It took a long time before the symptoms he was suffering from, were finally diagnosed correctly as Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacteria and is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected ticks.
While working in your forest or on the farm, avoid bare skin by wearing long-sleeved trousers, shirts, socks and use a DEET-based insect repellent. Afterwards, check yourself over to see if you have been bitten by a tick. Areas such as armpits, groin, backs of the knees, etc. need careful attention!
If you have been bitten by a tick, record the date and location of the tick bite on your body as symptoms may not manifest themselves immediately. Carefully remove the tick using tweezers and disinfect the bite.
The most common symptom of infection is an expanding area of redness that begins at the site of a tick bite about a week after it has occurred.