Lyme disease is an increasingly common infection transmitted by the bite of an infected tick.
Ticks commonly inhabit woodland, heath and grassy areas, but can even be found in gardens, and are most commonly found during the summer months. Local walkers have also reported an increase in tick sightings in the open countryside of the Linhouse Trail area in Livingston recently.
Symptoms of Lyme disease are wide-ranging and can include expanding 'bulls-eye' rash, flu-like symptoms, extreme fatigue, headache, muscle/joint/nerve pain, facial paralysis, and heart complications.
Antibiotic treatment within a few weeks of the bite is normally effective, but delay in treatment can result in chronic debilitating illness. Ticks can transmit a number of illnesses, so consult your GP as soon as possible if you are ill after a tick bite.
Dogs are also at risk of tick bites and should be regularly checked. A variety of preventative tick treatments can be obtained from your vet.
Tips to prevent Lyme disease:
- Wear light-coloured clothing with long sleeves and trousers
- Tuck trousers into socks
- Keep to well-maintained paths and avoid touching foliage
- After outdoor activity, do a tick check on yourself, children and pets, including hard to reach places
- Spray clothes with Permethrin, an insecticide, and use a tick repellent
- Carry a tick removal tool
Please visit www.lymeresourcecentre.com for further details.