We have been asked by a member to alert others to the risk of tick bites leading to a serious, debilitating and potentially fatal condition called Lyme disease.
Only a small number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and a bite can only cause Lyme disease in humans if the tick has already bitten an infected animal.
But it's still important to be aware of ticks and to safely remove them as soon as possible, just in case.
Many people with early symptoms of Lyme disease develop a circular red skin rash around a tick bite, and looking like a bulls-eye.
The rash can appear up to 3 months after being bitten by a tick and usually lasts for several weeks. Most rashes appear within the first 4 weeks.
Not everyone with Lyme disease gets the rash. Some people also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as:
a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
muscle and joint pain
tiredness and loss of energy
Ticks that may cause Lyme disease are found all over the UK, and in many popular tourist destinations.
You can find out more about Lyme disease at https://www.lymediseaseaction.org.uk
Emma Franklin's Story
Starting at just 23 years old, Emma endured years of unexplained and increasingly severe symptoms until she finally lost the ability to take care of herself. She became unable to talk or eat independently. Unfortunately, when she was eventually diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease, it was too late to reverse much of the damage.
From her sick bed, courageous Emma began blogging to raise awareness about the disease. You can read her moving and motivational blog here.