How to avoid Lyme disease in Suffolk this tick season
Suffolk is known for being a high risk tick area, but countryside fans can avoid getting bitten by ticks and catching Lyme disease by following a few simple tips.
Ticks are small, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of animals and people and carry a bacteria which can cause Lyme disease.
Suffolk, along with many parts of southern England, is a particularly high risk area for ticks due to its high volume of grassy and wooded areas.
The number of Lyme disease cases haz increased in the UK so it is important to be aware of the disease, what it is, how to spot the signals and how to prevent it.
Dr Amanda Jones, Suffolk County Council director for public health, said: “Now the evenings are lighter, lots of us are enjoying the beautiful Suffolk countryside. But if you are out and about during the warm weather, make sure you’re tick aware.”
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There are a number of different ways you can protect yourself from ticks and precaution should be taken.
Dr Jones added: “While walking outdoors cover your skin and stick to clearly defined paths whenever possible. Wear light-coloured clothing so ticks are easier to spot and brush off and use insect repellent on your clothes and skin.
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“Some ticks carry bacteria that can cause Lyme disease. If bitten, remove any tick as soon as possible to reduce chance of infection. Although relatively rare, if the infection is diagnosed early it is easier to treat.”
Ticks mainly attach to animals, but sometimes they may bite people so it is important to perform regular tick checks.
Some tick bites can result in infection, so it is important to remove ticks as quickly and as safely as possible by using a pair of fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool.
If you begin to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms or develop a spreading circular red rash you should contact your GP or dial NHS 111.