What is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread through the bites of infectious ticks. The bacteria is called Borrelia burgdorferi but it does have various sub-types that cause the infection too. The first symptom is a rash that radiates out from the tick bite, if the disease is not treated with antibiotics then the patient can go on to develop painful joints, heart problems and nerve problems.
How Do Ticks Create Lyme Disease
Ticks are small insect-like creatures that feed on blood from animals, and, occasionally humans. When an infected tick bites it will stay attached for 24-48 hours depending on when its last feed was. During this time the bacteria that is in the tick's stomach will rise to its mouth and into the bite wound when it becomes engorged.
Preventing Tick Bites
There are certain things you can do to prevent getting bitten by a tick:
- If possible, avoid areas where infected ticks live - particularly in the summer months. When out in the countryside, keep to paths and away from long grass or overgrown vegetation, as ticks crawl up long grass in their search for a feed.
- Check that pets do not bring ticks into the home on their fur.