Enjoy the Moors - but Watch out for the Ticks

Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England), August 17, 2017 | Go to article overview

Enjoy the Moors - but Watch out for the Ticks


THE North Yorkshire Moors is world renowned for its beauty.

And this summmer - as every year - it will have visitors from far and wide enjoying what it has to offer.

But did you know that, as well as other national parks and woodland across the country, it's listed as a hotspot for the ticks that spread the potentially life threatening Lyme disease? It's thought only a small proportion of ticks carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, so being bitten doesn't mean you'll be infected.

However NHS Choices lists the North Yorkshire Moors area as having a particularly high population of ticks. The Gazette contacted Public Health England to clarify the situation.

A spokeswoman said: "Evidence shows that, like elsewhere in England, ticks do occur in the North York Moors and can be quite common, hence its listing as a known site for ticks.

"There are a variety of moorland and woodland habitats that support both the ticks and their hosts.

"PHE's tick surveillance scheme has consistently received records of Ixodes ricinus ticks (which are common in the UK and can transmit Lyme disease to humans) from the area since 2008 with the majority of records from humans received during the months of June, July and August.

"It is important to note that tick presence does not always mean there will be a presence of Lyme disease causing bacteria (Borrelia), however, PHE encourage tick checking/prompt removal whenever anyone has been potentially exposed." Here is what NHS Choices says: What is Lyme disease? "Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks.

Ticks are tiny spider-like creatures found in woodland and heath areas.

It's estimated there are 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year. About 15% of cases occur while people are abroad.

Lyme disease can often be treated effectively if it's detected early on.

But if it's not treated or treatment is delayed, there's a risk you could develop severe and long-lasting symptoms."

What are the symptoms? "Many people with early-stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular rash at the site of the tick bite, usually around three to 30 days after being bitten.

The rash is often described as looking like a bull's-eye on a dart board.

The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised. …

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