Monday 20 February 2017

Walkers warned to keep vigilant over tick bites which pose Lyme disease risk

Published 10/05/2016 | 02:30

Ramblers and campers are being warned to be vigilant against tick bites
Ramblers and campers are being warned to be vigilant against tick bites

People who like the great outdoors are being warned about the risk of Lyme disease, an uncommon infection spread by infected biting tick.

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"Ramblers, campers, mountain bikers, and others who work and walk in forested or grassy areas must be vigilant against tick bites," said Dr Paul McKeown, a specialist in public health medicine.

It can cause debilitating heart and nervous system disease.

"Ticks are tiny spider like creatures that feed on the blood of mammals and birds and will also feed on the blood of humans and occasionally dogs.

"They are more numerous and more active in the summer months and protecting against tick bites protects against Lyme disease.

"The most effective way to prevent Lyme disease is by preventing tick bites."

Specialists recommend that you check skin, hair and warm skin folds (especially the neck and scalp of children) for ticks, after a day out.

If you find a tick, remove it - and consult your GP if symptoms develop.

Also, if you have been walking your dog, remember to check him/her too.

For more information visit the Health ­Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) ­website at hpsc.ie

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