What Is Lyme Disease:
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia – which is a spirochete bacteria. Lyme disease is thought to be the most complex bacteria known to man and it’s the most common tick-borne disease in the northern hemisphere. Lyme disease is a multisystemic illness – meaning that it affects multiple organs, the tissue, bones, nerves and brain of the infected person. To find out more about the symptoms of Lyme disease click here.
Lyme disease is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick (not all ticks are infected with Lyme disease but a growing number now are). There is growing evidence to suggest that Lyme disease can be spread through other biting vectors such as mosquitos, spiders, mites, etc. There is also mounting concerns over blood and organ donation being a source of transmission.
It is not uncommon to be unaware of having been bitten by a tick! Ticks can be as small as a poppy seed, that’s the size of a pinhead or a full stop, so it’s very easy to miss a tick bite. Luckily, there are things which can be done to reduce your chances of being bitten. Check out the following link to find out more. There are also repellents which can protect you where your out and about – click here to see more.
Ticks can be found in vertaully every country in the world. However, there are ‘hot spots’ where you are more likly to come accross ticks and where you are therefore at a higher risk of being bitten and infected by Lyme disease. Ticks like areas which are damp and so areas of long grass, bracken, woodland and heather are partucularly likly to have ticks. With that being said, ticks can be found in city parks and gardens too.
Ticks cannot jump or fly but they do move with surprising swiftness! Their main source of travel though is on the host of aminals and humans that they have attached themselves to.
When a tick is ready to feed it will quest – meaning that it will climb to the top of a piece of folage, clinging on with its back legs, it will hold it’s front legs out until a passing animal or person walks past. The tick used the barbs on it’s legs to hook itself onto its host. Once the tick is on said host, the tick will crawl along the host until it finds a spot inwhich it chooses to feed – this can be on any part of your body but they frequently are found under the arm or around genitals as these are areas which tend to be damp. Once the tick has finnished feeding it will drop off the host.