As lockdown measures are eased and extra of us enterprise outside over the summer time months, the Public Well being Company is urging everybody to take steps to assist defend themselves from tick bites.
Tick bites may cause Lyme illness, a severe and debilitating sickness which may be transmitted to people by way of a tick’s chew.
Dr Gerry Waldron, Head of Well being Safety on the PHA, defined: “Lyme illness is a bacterial an infection which is transmitted by tick bites. The earliest and commonest symptom of Lyme illness is a pink or purple round rash that develops across the space of the chew, three to 30 days after somebody is bitten.
“The rash is commonly described as wanting like a bullseye on a dart board. You might also expertise flu-like signs corresponding to tiredness, complications and muscle or joint ache. If Lyme illness is left untreated, additional signs might develop months and even years later.”
Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures, which feed on the blood of animals and generally folks. In case you are concerned in outside actions which take you into the countryside, parks or gardens with wildlife corresponding to squirrels and hedgehogs, it’s possible you’ll be vulnerable to tick bites.
Circumstances of Lyme illness are sometimes acquired by way of leisure actions together with canine strolling, tenting, climbing and mountain-biking, the place tick publicity is extra doubtless.
One of the simplest ways of stopping Lyme illness is to keep away from being bitten if you end up in grassy or woodland areas identified to have a excessive tick inhabitants.
The next precautions may assist to forestall Lyme illness
- stroll on clearly outlined paths to keep away from brushing in opposition to vegetation the place ticks could also be current;
- put on light-coloured clothes in order that ticks crawling on clothes may be noticed and disregarded;
- use an insect repellent that may repel ticks and forestall them from climbing onto clothes or attaching to pores and skin (all the time observe the producer’s steering);
- put on lengthy trousers and long-sleeved tops to cut back the direct publicity of ticks to your pores and skin, making it harder for them to discover a appropriate space to connect.
Dr Waldron added: “Late spring, early summer time and autumn are peak occasions for tick bites, which coincide with folks venturing outside within the hotter climate. It is vital that individuals take preventative measures in opposition to tick bites and likewise look out for ticks after visiting affected areas.
“Lyme illness may be tough to diagnose so it is very important get medical recommendation if a rash or different signs develop inside a couple of weeks of a tick chew as early therapy can stop development to power illness.”
At the moment there aren’t any vaccines to defend in opposition to tick-borne illness. Subsequently, one of the best defence is to keep away from being bitten, the PHA say.
Solely a small variety of ticks are contaminated with the micro organism that trigger Lyme illness. A tick chew can solely trigger Lyme illness in people if the tick has already bitten an contaminated animal.
Nonetheless, it is nonetheless vital to concentrate on ticks and to securely take away them as quickly as potential, simply in case.
What to do when you discover a tick in your or your kid’s pores and skin
- take away it by gently gripping it as near the pores and skin as potential;
- use a pair of tweezers that will not squash the tick (corresponding to fine-tipped tweezers), or use a tick elimination instrument (obtainable from pet retailers or vets);
- pull steadily away from the pores and skin with out twisting or crushing the tick;
- wash your pores and skin with water and cleaning soap afterwards, and apply an antiseptic cream to the pores and skin across the chew;
- do not use a lit cigarette finish, a match head or substances corresponding to alcohol or petroleum jelly to drive the tick out (as this will trigger the tick to regurgitate probably contaminated materials into the pores and skin, which can enhance the chance of an infection).
Some veterinary surgical procedures and pet retailers promote cheap tick elimination units. These could also be helpful when you typically spend time in areas the place there are ticks.