Lyme disease, or ‘Borreliosis‘, is a bacterial infection passed to humans through a tick bite. It is currently the fastest growing vector-borne disease in the world. The bacteria is shaped like a corkscrew (called a spirochete), which enables it to burrow through body tissue which most other bacteria wouldn’t be able to penetrate. This makes Lyme a serious and potentially debilitating disease causing a host of symptoms such as heart and nervous system problems, including palsies (paralysis) and meningitis and if left untreated can cause motor and sensory nerve damage, brain inflammation and/or arthritis.
Lyme Disease is commonly misdiagnosed as other illnesses such as CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME), Multiple Sclerosis and Fibromyalgia. Early diagnosis and treatment is essential to help those infected make a full recovery. If left undetected it can develop into disseminated or late Lyme Disease and can be extremely difficult to eradicate and can cause serious, long term health problems.
Research has shown that ticks collected in the areas of Counties Kerry, Galway, Connemara and Wicklow do carry the borrelia bacteriam therefore people in these areas may be at risk of being bitten by infected ticks. Followers of deer, whether as stalkers, photographers or just as general enthusiasts, should be aware of the threat to health from this source.
For more information, go to www.ticktalkireland.org, or download an information leaflet at www.ticktalkireland.org/lymeleaflet.pdf