Warning as ticks carry disease south
The area has now been classified as a “hotspot” for the infection for the first time, with the spread prompting concern that tick infestation of the countryside is moving south
The Scottish Highlands have long been known as a problem area for blood-sucking ticks (pictured right), which lurk in long grass and attach themselves to animals and humans. The ticks – which cling on to their host as they feed, are difficult to spot and to remove. A bite carries the risk of infection with Lyme disease – officially known as Lyme borreliosis – which can cause serious neurological and heart problems.
But the investigation by the public health team from Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and Raigmore Hospital in Inverness – published in the Journal Of The Royal College Of Physicians Edinburgh – has revealed a “significant” rise in cases of Lyme disease in Tayside. Cases in the area, which are thought to have originated in the region’s large forested areas, rose from just five in 2005 to 67 in 2010.
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