The Heathland Conservation Society has issued a warning on the dangers of contracting Lyme Disease after one of its Members became infected, possibly from heathland in Surrey Heath. The Society does a great job helping to protect the heathland around Surrey Heath.
Lyme Disease is spread by ticks which are particularly active during Spring and Summer in the heathland. The NHS Choices web-site carries a full and excellent description of the symptoms and treatment for Lyme Disease here. We reproduce below just the sections with basic advice on avoiding infection and recognising the symptoms.
The best way of preventing Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten when you are in wooded or heath areas known to have a high tick population. The following precautions might help prevent Lyme disease:
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt.
- Tuck your trousers into your socks.
- Use insect repellent.
- Check yourself for ticks.
- Check your children and pets for ticks.
If you do find a tick on your or your child’s skin, remove it by gently gripping it as close to the skin as possible, preferably using fine-toothed tweezers, and pull steadily away from the skin.
Never use a lit cigarette end, a match head or essential oils to force the tick out.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The earliest and most common symptom of Lyme disease is a pink or red circular rash that develops around the area of the bite, three to 30 days after someone is bitten. The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board. You may also experience flu-like symptoms, such as tiredness, headaches and muscle or joint pain.
If Lyme disease is left untreated, further symptoms may develop months or even years later and can include:
- muscle pain
- joint pain and swelling of the joints
- neurological symptoms, such as temporary paralysis of the facial muscles
Thank you to Cllr Bill Chapman for this guest blog. You can check out Bill’s blog at: http://surreyheathchapmans.wordpress.com/