PHE publishes new tick leaflets to remind people to be tick aware

PHE publishes new tick leaflets to remind people to be ‘tick aware’

New leaflets launched by Public Health England (PHE), reminding people to be ‘tick aware’ this summer.

The leaflets are available on PHE ’s website and will be shared with outdoor and leisure activity organisations who can share with their members.

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures and are found in woodlands, parks and gardens. They are most prevalent in late spring, summer and autumn. PHE is asking the public to be mindful of getting bitten as we increasingly venture outdoors over the coming months.

Once a tick bite is detected it is important to remove the tick with tweezers as soon as possible to reduce the risk of becoming ill. Most ticks do not carry the infection but any area in which ticks are present should be regarded as potential risk areas for acquiring Lyme disease.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which is transmitted by tick bites. Often the only symptom of Lyme disease is a rash, which gradually spreads from the site of the tick bite. The rash can cover a large area and last for weeks if left untreated. Some patients may also have ‘flu-like’ symptoms.

If left untreated more serious symptoms may develop in the following weeks or months. Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics and early treatment usually clears the rash within several days and helps to prevent the development of complications. More serious symptoms also respond to antibiotic treatment.

Cases of Lyme disease are often acquired through recreational activities including camping, walking, hiking and mountain-biking, where tick exposure is more likely. Areas where the infection has been transmitted in the UK include popular holiday destinations such as Exmoor, the New Forest, the South Downs, parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire, Thetford Forest, the Lake District, the Yorkshire moors and the Scottish Highlands.

We strongly encourage everyone to enjoy spending time in the countryside this summer but it’s important people are aware that tick bites can lead to unpleasant illnesses such as Lyme disease.

We hope these new leaflets will help explain the risks from ticks and share good practice on how to avoid and treat tick bites to reduce the risk of Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses.

Professor Brooks added:

There is not yet an effective vaccine against Lyme disease so tick awareness, avoidance of tick infested areas if possible, the use of appropriate clothing in areas where ticks are more common and early removal of attached ticks remain the most important prevention measures people can take to protect themselves and their families.

Notes to editors

To minimise the risk of being bitten by an infected tick, the PHE advice is to:

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