Humid conditions prompt health warning to watch out for ticks
PEOPLE are being urged to watch out for ticks as the area is affected by the kind of humid conditions in which they thrive.
With many enjoying the New Forest during the summer months, Hampshire County Council is offering advice on how to avoid the insects and how to remove them if bitten.
The council suggests keeping to footpaths and avoiding long grass when out walking, as well as wearing insect repellent and protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved top and trousers.
It also suggests checking children's head and neck areas, including their scalp, and pets’ fur after spending time in parks, gardens, and the countryside.
The council's cabinet member for public health, Cllr Judith Grajewski, said: “Ticks thrive in summer, particularly in the kind of humid conditions we’ve been experiencing.”
If bitten by a tick, removing it quickly and correctly can help to reduce any potential risk of contracting Lyme disease.
The only safe way to remove a tick is to use a pair of fine-tipped tweezers, or an easy-to-use device which can be purchased from pharmacies or vets. Grasping the tick as close to the skin as possible, pull upwards slowly and firmly - as mouthparts left in the skin can cause an infection.
Once removed, apply antiseptic to the bite area and keep an eye on it for several weeks for any changes.
Those who begin to feel unwell or develop a circular red skin rash should contact their GP, remembering to tell them they were bitten by a tick.
For more information on tick bites and treatment, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/lyme-disease.