https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/horror-summer-blood-sucking-ticks-14235057

‘Horror’ summer of blood-sucking ticks that can ‘cripple and blind you’ on its way

A five-year-old boy from Llandudno, in Wales, has already caught Lyme disease and the Health Protection Agency say case numbers are soaring

By Jim Hardy & Libby McBride

If a bug latches on to a human it can pass on a germ which can cause blindness, paralysis and meningitis (Image: WESSEX NEWS AGENCY)

Britain could be in for a record-breaking “horror” summer of blood-sucking ticks which can cripple people and even make them blind.

Following a mild winter and with the balmy weather this spring, fears are growing that the insects could have survived their hibernation in vast numbers and could be ready to breed and multiply.

The ticks spread Lyme disease with their saliva as they gorge on people’s blood – but it’s incredibly early in the year for an outbreak.

If a bug latches on to a human it can pass on a germ which can cause blindness, paralysis and meningitis .

The nightmare vampire-like mites, which feast on flesh, have already left a five-year-old boy suffering from Lyme disease .

Doctors are monitoring William Bargate who was bitten twice within five days by two separate ticks after playing at a Conwy Council owned park in Llandudno, Wales.

Three days after the initial tick bite on March 22 – which is understood to have been attached to William’s head for up to 36 hours – he began to suffer flu-like symptoms including tiredness, muscle pain, headachesand a fever.

Open-air lovers are warned that sex in the grass could have consequences (Image: WESSEX NEWS AGENCY)

His mother Adelle Bargate, 37, took him to see a doctor but says that as he did not have the visible circular rash associated with the disease it was thought he had just contracted a viral infection.

But days later, William was taken to see the doctor for a second time after being bitten again.

As well as being unable to move his neck, he had also developed severe and worsened flu-like symptoms.

The disease most commonly affects the skin, joints, the heart and the nervous system and is generally treated with antibiotics but some patients claim the symptoms can continue after treatment.

William Bargate, 5, was bitten by two ticks (Image: Daily Post/Adelle Bargate)

“On the second visit, the doctor acknowledged the potential infection and gave him 10 days worth of antibiotics” Ms Bargate said.

“But his symptoms were worsening and I was really concerned so I took him to A&E in Bangor on Saturday.

“They took him straight to the children’s ward where he was immediately sent for blood tests and that’s when they said they were treating it as Lyme disease.

“It’s really difficult to get a positive test of Lyme disease so as a precaution to his nasty symptoms he is now on a three week course of antibiotics.”

William was discharged from hospital on Sunday with three weeks worth of antibiotics, and his mum was told he will need to go for further tests this week to monitor the suspected disease.

A tick gorged with blood (Image: WESSEX NEWS AGENCY)

Mum Adelle continued:

I’ve lived on the Orme for more than 16 years and I never had ticks pulled off me as a child, it only seems to have become a bigger problem over the last two years.

“I don’t think it’s being taken seriously enough in the area, I feel as though I am the only person who is making a noise about the number of them around here.

“Nobody seems to be doing anything about it and I’m worried more children will become sick because of them.

“Every time my children play outside I have to strip them and check them for ticks.”

Her son’s illness comes after she also found a tick on her eight-year-old daughter Briony’s head in June last year, which she suspects had been there for around two days.

He was prescribed antibiotics (Image: Daily Post/Adelle Bargate)

It was the second tick she had found on her daughter in a week.

At the time, a number of families also reported finding the tiny blood sucking insects attached to their child’s skin after they were playing in and around the same park.

Public Health Wales declined to comment due to patient confidentiality.

Now it’s feared that billions of the blood-sucking bugs which can send you blind or cripple you for life are ready to creep across the country.

How to avoid getting bitten by ticks

  • Stick to paths – Try not to stray from paths and avoid overhanging vegetation unless
    necessary. Ticks do not jump or fly so sticking to clear areas without tall
    grass or shrubs will decrease the chances of being bitten. If in an area
    where there is no footpath, try and avoid tall grass or shady areas that are
    surrounded by shrubs.
  • Light Clothing – When in areas of woodland remained covered, wear long sleeve tops and full-length trousers. Protect areas such as the back of the knees, armpits
    and the groin area. Opt for light coloured clothing in order to easily
    identify any ticks present that may become attached.
  • Footwear – Wellies are not only reserved for rainy days and are perfect when in high risk areas, as you can tuck trousers into the wellie boots. Tucking trousers
    into socks is also a great defence mechanism if wellies are not an option.
  • Regular checks – Ticks are very small and hard to identify when not paying attention. Check regularly whilst outside and also when home in order to remove any feeding ticks. The longer a tick is left attached the harder it is to remove.
  • Right tools – Avoid any home remedies to try and remove ticks such as covering the
    affected area of the body in Vaseline or nail varnish or even burning them
    off. Instead, use a tick removal tool, which are sold in outdoor shops and some
    supermarkets and pharmacies. This will help avoid aggravating the tick and
    lower the risk of secondary infection. When removed, use an antiseptic wipe
    and be aware of any symptoms of Lyme disease

They love to lurk in lush long grass and woodland glades, so couples getting frisky in the fresh air face getting bitten.

The Health Protection Agency says there are 2,000 cases of Lyme disease every year in the UK, but the number is soaring.

TV Question of Sport star Matt Dawson, the former England rugby international, needed heart surgery after he was bitten by a tick in a London park in 2015 and Lyme Disease spread through his body.

Matt Dawson on This Morning
Matt was bitten by a tick while walking in a park in 2016 (Image: Rex)

According to The Big Tick Project – a nationwide research survey in collaboration with Bristol University that looks at the number of ticks on dogs – the numbers are on the increase for several reasons.

“Many factors may have contributed to the increase in tick numbers across the UK” they said.

“Changing weather patterns mean prolonged periods where conditions are favourable for tick survival, particularly wetter summers and warmer winters.

“A lack of awareness amongst pet owners, leading to inadequate treatment and prevention may also play a significant role in contributing to problems for dogs.

“However, despite the growth of tick populations across the country, only 12 per cent of people are actually concerned by the risk posed by ticks.

“More worryingly, 47 per cent of pet owners were not aware that they too are at risk of infection from tick-borne diseases.”

Last summer mum Emily Porter warned parents to be on their guard after she spotted this tick embedded in her three-year-old son’s scalp after their trip to Lyme Park in Disley, Manchester.

The mum-of-two, from Marple,believes she was lucky to spot the tick so soon and managed to get it out with a tick remover.

She said at the time “I saw it whilst washing his hair. It stood out against the blond.

“I probably wouldn’t have spotted it in my other son’s hair and I only knew what it was as I am on high alert as we have a dog who has had them.

Someone else would have probably thought it was a scab or a bit of dirt as they are so tiny at first.”

In a statement at the time, a spokesperson for National Trust-owned Lyme Park advised visitors to wear long trousers and check themselves afterwards to reduce the risk of infection.

The first symptom when someone is bitten by an infected tick is a red circular ‘bullseye’ skin rash which may subside after a week or two.

A high temperature, muscle and joint pain may then follow.

Most infections are not serious but in extreme cases it can cause paralysis, encephalitis and meningitis.

It is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, found in the digestive system of deer, pheasants and mice.

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For more on prevention:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/04/12/tick-prevention-2019/

Please know, the number of folks getting the “classic” bullseye EM rash is much smaller than is being touted:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/02/21/lyme-disease-dont-wait-for-blood-tests-where-patients-have-bullseye-rash/  Read comments at end of article as well.

This whole weather issue is a bunch of bunk. Independent Canadian researcher, John Scott, as proven tick proliferation and therefore the spread of disease has absolutely NADDA to do with the weather:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/13/study-shows-lyme-not-propelled-by-climate-change/

It’s the birds

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/11/07/ticks-on-the-move-due-to-migrating-birds-and-photoperiod-not-climate-change/

And, according to a UW Madison PhD in Climatology, there’s only ONE climate change computer model even slightly close to the truth and it shows the least amount of “change.”  He also claims the debate over climate change is infused with political games played to create policy.  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/11/17/uw-madison-phd-in-ecological-climatology-climate-change-computer-models-fudged-except-russian-model/

Lyme/MSIDS is hardly the only issue with a political motivation behind it