Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

The basics:

Most UK festivals take place in fields or on farmland. Even Reading which is walking distance from the heart of the city takes place on a farm. And where there is farmland and animals, there are likely to be ticks.

More on Tick Bites and Lyme Disease:

If you find a tick attached to your skin while you are at a festival, your best option is to go to one of the medical centres which are stocked with special instruments which remove the whole tick, including the head. If you try to remove it yourself using old fashioned methods such as a lit cigarette, there is every chance you will leave the head of the tick in your skin, which may then become infected.

Most tick bites are harmless, but each year between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the UK go on to develop a condition called Lyme Disease after being bitten by a tick. The longer the tick stays attached to your skin, the more likely you are to develop Lyme Disease if the tick is carrying the infection.

Symptoms don’t appear until between 3 days to a month after being bitten and may include a circular rash where the bite occurred, feeling a bit ‘flu-ey’ with joint pains, chills and tiredness. Untreated infections can become much more serious, so if you get symptoms like these after a bite, it is important to see your doctor and mention the tick. They can prescribe a course of antibiotics, and again it is important to complete the whole course; don’t stop taking them when you start feeling better!

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