Tick Awareness Week
As the warmer weather encourages more thrill seekers and health enthusiasts to take up their outdoor pursuits, Lyme disease charity BADA-UK (Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness-UK) is warning them to be aware of tick-borne disease whilst out and about.
Ticks carrying Borreliosis (also known as Lyme disease) are found throughout the UK, so whether it is a gentle jog through a local park, or a climb to the top of the nearest mountain, outdoor enthusiasts are at risk of encountering a potential health risk.
“Many areas with good ground cover and diverse wildlife (such as squirrels, hedgehogs and deer) can pose a potential risk” says Wendy Fox, Chair of BADA-UK, and a Lyme disease sufferer. “Simple precautions can help to prevent a nasty infection”.
Tick Prevention Week, organised by BADA-UK, runs from April 12 - April 18th and aims to provide information to help prevent ticks from biting people and pets. It also gives advice on what to do if ticks do attach. This year’s theme of ‘DO ONE THING to raise awareness’ provides lots of ideas and schools, activity clubs and specialist interest groups are encouraged to do their bit to raise awareness. Leaflets, posters and much more can be found on the Tick Prevention Week website.
Lyme disease is transmitted via the bite of an infected tick and can lead to serious complications including damage to the nervous system, joints, heart and other tissues.
Figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show a year-on-year increase in cases of Lyme disease, with a marked increase over the past 6 years from 292 in 2003 to 813 in 2008 (the latest figures). However the HPA estimate up to 3,000 cases every year. Figures released by Health Protection Scotland have shown a dramatic rise in infection rates from 28 confirmed cases in 2001 to 285 cases in 2008.
More information about Lyme disease and BADA-UK can be found on the BADA website.