NHS warns of flu-like symptoms that could be common disease


The NHS has issued a warning for a symptom which could indicate tha they have a common infectious disease.

They highlight on their website that a circular or oval-shaped rash around a tick bite could be an early sign of Lyme disease, a bacterial infection transmitted by infected ticks. Early diagnosis can help treatment, so if you notice this symptom, it’s advised to see your GP immediately.

So what do I need to look out for?

According to the NHS, the rash may feature a darker or lighter central area and can spread over time. Typically, it is neither hot nor itchy. Additionally, the rash might be flat or raised, presenting as pink, red, or purple on white skin. On brown and black skin, the rash can be harder to spot and may look similar to a bruise.

Should you develop a rash, it might manifest up to three months following a bite from an infected tick. Generally, it appears within one to four weeks and can persist for several weeks.

What are the other symptoms of lyme disease?

The health experts warn that sometimes individuals experience flu-like symptoms a few days or weeks after they were bitten by an infected tick. This can include:

  • a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
  • headache
  • muscle and joint pain
  • tiredness and loss of energy

Some people with Lyme disease develop more severe symptoms months or years later, although this is more likely if treatment is delayed. These more severe symptoms may include:

  • pain and swelling in joints
  • nerve problems – such as pain or numbness
  • heart problems
  • trouble with memory or concentration

Lyme Disease UK warn that sometimes this disease can be misdiagnosed as conditions with similar or overlapping symptoms such as chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis.

Won’t it be obvious if I’ve been bitten by a tick?

No, not always. According to Lyme Disease UK: “Patients do not always remember a tick bite. Nymph ticks can be as small as a poppy seed.” They add that it is the most common human tick-borne infectious disease in the northern hemisphere, urging people to keep an eye on symptoms.

How can I remove a tick?

The likelihood of falling ill is minimal. There is no need for further action unless you develop a rash or start feeling unwell.

To remove a tick safely:

  1. Use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removal tool. You can buy these from some pharmacies, vets and pet shops.
  2. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.
  3. Slowly pull upwards, taking care not to squeeze or crush the tick. Dispose of it when you have removed it.
  4. Clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water.



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