Wednesday 13 November 2019

Watch out! Why you should be aware of the dangers of tick bites

Check skin, hair and warm skin folds especially the neck and scalp of children, for ticks after a day out.
Check skin, hair and warm skin folds especially the neck and scalp of children, for ticks after a day out.
Tick bite
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

We know of the health benefits of the great outdoors but don't forget about the danger of tick bites.

Due to their breeding patterns, the tick population is highest in late spring and early summer.

Around 50-100 people a year, who are unfortunate enough to suffer tick bites, are diagnosed with Lyme disease, which, in a minority of extreme cases, can lead to severe heart or nervous system disease.

Read more: Living with Lyme Disease: 'I was throwing up all day, I couldn't see properly, I was confused and had heart palpitations

The risk of ticks is also present in other countries and two cases of Lyme disease were notified here in the first seven weeks of 2015.

Ramblers, campers, mountain bikers and people who work in forested or grassy areas should all be vigilant.

The advice is:

* Wear long trousers.

* Put on a long-sleeved shirt and shoes

* Use an insect repell­ent

Read more: Avoiding ticks and other bugs this summer

* Check skin, hair and warm skin folds (especially the neck and scalp of children) for ticks, after a day out

* People should also remove any ticks and consult a GP if symptoms develop. Only a minority of ticks carry infection.

* If a tick is removed within a few hours, the risk of infection is low. The skin where the tick was found should then be washed with soap and water and the area checked over the next few weeks for swelling or redness.

* Anyone who develops a rash or other symptoms should visit their GP.

Read more: Insect Bite: 'Lyme disease almost destroyed my life'

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