Lyme Disease warning after rise in calls reporting tick bites

NHS 24 call handlers are dealing with a rise in tick-related calls as the warmer weather sets in across the country.

NHS 24 release advice on tick bites following an increase in calls andriano_cz via iStock
The safest way to remove a tick is to use a tick removal tool.

Scots are being warned about the dangers of Lyme Disease amid a surge in calls regarding tick bites.

NHS 24 call handlers are dealing with a rise in tick-related calls as the warmer weather sets in across the country.

Experts from the health board have posted advice on social media for anyone left concerned over a tick bite.

An NHS spokesperson said ticks can be found mostly in wooded, grassy areas with dense overgrowth and are particularly common between March and October.

The most common tick in Scotland is the sheep or deer tick and they climb onto animals or humans as they brush past.

In a post on Facebook, NHS 24 said: “If you spot a tick bite, don’t worry, the majority of tick bites cause no issues.

“Remove it as soon as possible, then wash the skin with soap, apply an antiseptic cream around the bite and take a picture of the bite and any rash that may have developed.

“The safest way to remove a tick is to use a tick removal tool, such as a tick twister or tick card.

“If these aren’t available, you can use a pair of fine-toothed tweezers.

“To force the tick out, you should not, use a cigarette, match or lighter. You shouldn’t squeeze the tick nor use any alcohol or petroleum jelly.”

“There is no need to consult your GP if you have been bitten and have no symptoms, however, do keep an eye on the bite area and if you develop any rash – not just one resembling a bullseye – or develop any flu-like symptoms in the weeks following a bite, make an appointment with your GP right away.

“Not everyone who contracts Lyme Disease develops a rash, or notices a bite, so it’s very important to be aware of, and seek advice for any flu-like symptoms quickly, such as, fever, chills, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, stiff neck and headache.”