Brits warned over deadly tick bites as sunseekers urged to cover skin

Holidaymakers in Britain are being warned to cover any bare skin to avoid a tick bite that can cause Lyme disease.

Ticks – which are usually found in grassy and wooded areas – can trigger the condition, which can cause heart attacks, paralysis, and arthritis.

If untreated the disease can cause more severe reactions, the Mirror reports.

Experts have warned that due to the recent heatwave there has been a surge in ticks hunting hosts to latch on to, especially dog walkers and their pets.

Vets have reported a surge in cases of animals needing the tiny parasites removed.

It's often sufferers only realise weeks later they had a tick bite after a lump, blister or circular "bulls-eye" rash appear on the skin.

Professor Sally Cutler, of the University of East London, said: "Many people have rediscovered the countryside during Covid and will be taking holidays in the UK.

"Following the recent rain and with nice conditions now, the temperature, humidity, and timing is ideal for ticks."

The Woodland Trust advises walkers to protect themselves by steering clear of "dense vegetation", covering their skin, and tucking trousers into socks.

About eight Brits a day will catch Lyme disease from ticks, on average.

While just 30 cases were recorded in 1996, there are now more than 1,700 infections per year two and a half decades later.

Last month, Powys County Council in Wales issued a tick alert and urged residents heading outdoors to use insect repellent.

A tick bite can only cause Lyme disease in humans if the tick has already bitten an infected animal.

People who think they have been bitten are advised the remove the tick promptly and carefully, but they should contact a doctor if they are unable to do so, if the rash gets bigger or if they think the bite is infected.

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