Tick Bite Prevention Week

26th March–1st April is tick bite prevention week

Ticks can carry harmful infections that can be transmitted to humans. If you are taking part in outdoor activities or simply enjoy being in the countryside, or parks and gardens where wildlife is present, you may be at risk from tick bites. As the weather gets warmer, people begin to spend more time outdoors and ticks start to become more active.

Many people are unaware that British ticks can carry and transmit a number of diseases to all manner of wildlife, livestock, domestic pets and humans. Other people have grown up in situations where they have been in regular contact with ticks but perhaps feel that, so far, they have only been a mild irritation and are nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, various combined factors now mean that we are at increased risk of contracting a tick-borne infection.

There is no need to panic about ticks but an awareness of their presence, the simple precautions that can be taken against tick bites, and how to remove them safely, is key to avoid contracting tick-borne diseases.

The Tick Bite Prevention Week website gives lots of useful information on avoiding bites and the safe removal of ticks; it’s well worth looking through this site before heading out into the countryside.

1 thought on “Tick Bite Prevention Week

  1. New Scottish study of ticks and Lyme disease – Your help needed

    With the backing of BADA-UK, the charity behind Tick Bite Prevention Week, leading Scottish life sciences company Xeroshield is looking for your help with the completion of a major new study about ticks and Lyme disease in Scotland.

    Members of the public are being encouraged to take five minutes to complete a short online survey asking them some straightforward questions about their own experience of ticks and Lyme disease in Scotland.

    Lyme borreliosis is a tick-borne illness which, without prompt treatment, can cause debilitating long-term human health problems including nervous damage and psychological alterations. Ticks are prevalent in Scotland and most commonly found in wooded or bushy areas or amongst heather and bracken. They attach themselves to the skin of a host and feed on its blood. Ticks infected with Lyme borreliosis can transmit the disease to their host during the feeding process.

    Xeroshield is keen to hear from people who spend lengthy periods of time outdoors for work or leisure and are therefore at higher risk of exposure to tick bites and Lyme disease.

    The company is exploring the development of an innovative device for the removal of ticks from humans and pets, combined with a laboratory service for the detection of Lyme disease in ticks collected and immobilised using this device. The current study, funded by the UK technology strategy board, is designed to assess the potential market for such a product and service. But it is also expected to generate useful data about general awareness of ticks and Lyme disease in Scotland.

    Over the coming months, Xeroshield also plans to undertake more detailed interviews and focus groups and would be particularly interested to hear from anyone willing to participate in this more detailed survey work later this year.

    To find out more about this project and to complete the ticks and Lyme disease survey online, please visit: xerolyme.wordpress.com.

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