Health chiefs are reminding people across Cumbria to keep their eyes open for Ticks to avoid getting ill.
Ticks which are commonly found in woodland and moorland areas such as the Lake District, are small spider shaped insects which feed on the blood of mammals including humans.
Ticks can often carry an infection called Lyme disease and can pass it on to people when they bite them.
If bitten people should keep an eye out for a red skin rash developing around the bite said to be similar to the bullseye on a dartboard. If these symptoms appear people should go and see their GP.
Living in Cumbria it’s important that we’re all aware of what ticks and Lyme disease are and the importance of trying to avoid being bitten.
Dr Nigel Calvert, NHS Cumbria
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which if left untreated can cause joint swelling, muscle pain, a high temperature and even neurological symptoms such as facial paralysis. However if it is caught early it can be treated with antibiotics.
Almost 1000 cases of Lyme disease
In 2009 there were 973 cases of Lyme disease reported in England and Wales, up from 813 cases in 2008.
The tick population is at its highest in late spring early summer, so it’s vital that people look out for them, try and avoid being bitten and keep an eye out for symptoms of infection if bitten.
People visiting wooded or moorland areas such as the Lake District in Cumbria should cover their skin, use insect repellents and check themselves, their children and pets for ticks and tick bites after a day out.
People can also remove ticks from themselves or pets, but they need to do this carefully and grip the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull away carefully or use tweezers.
Dr Nigel Calvert is NHS Cumbria’s Associate Director of Public Health. He said: “Living in Cumbria it’s important that we’re all aware of what ticks and Lyme disease are and the importance of trying to avoid being bitten.
We don’t want to cause alarm, just deliver a simple reminder. If anyone is out for the day in a woodland or moorland area I’d ask that they just use a bit of common sense, cover up where possible and keep an eye out for ticks, and bites, particularly on pets, who could carry a tick into the home.
“If anyone is worried about a bite or spots a rash developing then it’s important that they go and see their GP. A simple course of antibiotics should be able to do the trick, but the longer the infection is left to spread in people’s bodies the more harder it is to treat and the symptoms can become debilitating.”