UK Press Release 02/07/97

Ticks on the Move

[IMAGE]Tick, (Ixodes ricinus) in close up

[x]Contact: Jill Dennison

Arun's beautiful downs and woodland areas are not only a favourite with tourists, walkers and mountain bikers, but also with small spider-like creatures called 'ticks', who are making their homes in the grassland areas.

This is the time of year when ticks are on the move looking for a possible victim, which could be you or your pet! The concern for humans is that, worryingly, some ticks can carry a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which if passed on to its host, can cause Lyme Disease, which shows itself in 'flu-like' symptoms - aching muscles and pains, tiredness and a rash. if untreated, it can lead to more serious problems such as arthritis and nerve or heart disease.

In a bid to tackle the potential health threat, a working group, of which Arun District Council is a member, has produced a leaflet full of advice and information on Lyme Disease, how to prevent it, what to do if bitten by a tick as well as some interesting material on the life history of the tick.

Arun's Chairman of Environment, Tourism and Leisure Committee says, "Ticks can be no bigger than a freckle, and these tiny creatures usually attach themselves to the skin of grazing animals or cling to long grasses waiting for a host to pass by on which they can attach themselves. Hosts can be human or animal and once the tick decides it likes its new abode, it crawls around looking for a suitable place to bite.

"Sometimes bites go unnoticed, but very occasionally the tick clings on and has its fill of blood after which they usually drop off and that is the end of it. People who walk or ride through long grass, rough vegetation or heathland are most at risk, but this leaflet has been devised to help everyone enjoy the countryside by telling them all they need to know about these nasty creatures," says Councillor Wilde.

Doctor David Hagen, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control and Chairman of the Lyme Disease Working Group says, "There is no need for alarm. The chances of the casual visitor to the countryside catching Lyme Disease is slim and by following the advice given in the leaflet, the risk is almost zero. Even if symptoms do develop, the disease is treatable with antibiotics."

If you require more information or would like a free copy of the leaflet please contact Paul Murphy on 01903 737674. You will need the standard dialling code (+0044) for England if you're outside of the UK. Or alternatively send an email or view it online by clicking the link below.

View the leaflet online

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Mark Greenfield

Copyright © 2004 Mark Greenfield