Warning over Lyme disease

‘Don’t let the bugs bite this summer,’ says NHS Devon.

EAST DEVON residents are being urged to not let the bugs bite this summer over fears of Lyme disease.

NHS Devon has issued the warning as the risk of being bitten by bugs that can cause Lyme disease is much greater during the summer when people are enjoying the outdoors.

The disease is caused by a bug bite, which can lead to headaches, muscle pain, high temperature, joint pain and stiffness of the neck.

The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a red skin rash that looks like a bull’s eye on a dart board.

It can appear up to 30 days after the person is bitten by an infected tick but does not always appear.

Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics and most people recover within a couple of days.

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To reduce the risks of the disease be aware of ticks and wear long sleeve shirts and trousers tucked into your socks in tick infested areas.

Use insect repellents and inspect your skins for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck, armpits, groin and waistband.

Make sure you check your clothing and your pets fur to ensure that no ticks are brought into the home.

Jackie Morse, head of health protection at NHS Devon, said: “If you do find a tick on your skin, remove it by gently gripping it as close to the skin as possible, ideally using tweezers, and pull steadily away from the skin. You need to make sure you don’t crush or squeeze the tick as parts can break off and cause infection. You can also use tick hooks, from vets and chemists.

“If you think you have any of the symptoms or have been bitten by a tick, please book an appointment with your GP immediately.”