Denton and Reddish MP, Andrew Gwynne, has encouraged his constituents to wake up to the real threat posed by Lyme disease and to follow the simple and easy steps to understanding how to spot and treat any potential threat.

Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia, a spirochete bacteria. It’s the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere and there are multiple strains of the bacteria. Lyme disease is endemic in many parts of the United Kingdom, particularly in woodland or heath-land areas but disease carrying ticks can also be found in cities and gardens.

Public Health England estimates that there are 3,000 new cases of Lyme disease per year. However, this is likely to be a gross underestimate. There is a discrepancy in estimations and the exact number will likely remain unknown, due to the fact that Lyme disease is not an easy to report condition and there are still many UK healthcare professionals and patients who are not able to identify and diagnose the condition.

Tick bites aren’t painful, with many people not noticing when they have been bitten. The most distinctive sign is a bull’s-eye rash but many patients do not experience this, or may present with an atypical rash instead. Initial symptoms may include: fatigue, fevers, nausea, ‘summer flu’, Bell’s palsy, headaches and a stiff neck.

If you find an embedded tick in your skin, what do you do? The longer a tick is left to feed, the higher the chances are that it will pass on any diseases it’s carrying. Incorrect removal will also increase the chances of disease transmission. So whilst it is important to remove the tick as soon as possible, it is equally as important that the tick is removed correctly. For further help, please visit: http://lymediseaseuk.com/2015/10/26/tick-removal/ to find out more.

Andrew Gwynne said:

“Lyme disease is a very real threat in the UK, and can have very real health consequences. Join me in being tick aware and help prevent Lyme disease in Denton and Reddish.” 

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