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Members' Business — S6M-07769 Evelyn Tweed: National Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Wednesday 17 May 2023 5:47 PM


That the Parliament acknowledges that May 2023 is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month; notes that Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks, which are tiny spider-like creatures found in woodland and moorland areas that feed on the blood of birds and mammals, including humans; understands that many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular rash around the tick bite three to 30 days after being bitten, often described as looking like a bull’s eye on a dart board, whilst some people may develop several rashes in different parts of their body, and around one in three people will not develop a rash; further understands that some people with Lyme disease also have flu-like symptoms, including tiredness, muscle and joint pain, headaches, a high temperature, chills and neck stiffness; notes the calls encouraging anyone who has been bitten by a tick and develops a rash or flu-like symptoms to speak to their GP and tell them that they have been bitten by a tick; further notes, however, that diagnosing Lyme disease is often difficult as many of the symptoms are similar to other conditions; acknowledges that NHS Scotland advises that Lyme disease is treatable, however, that without treatment, more serious and longer-term symptoms may develop, including pain and swelling in joints, nerve problems, memory problems, difficulty concentrating and heart problems; understands that there is currently no vaccine available and that the best way to prevent Lyme disease is to adopt simple measures when in the countryside or near wildlife, including tucking trousers into socks and wearing insect repellent, and notes the calls encouraging anybody who is concerned that they have contracted Lyme disease to contact their GP and for everyone to take precautions when in the countryside.

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