MSP Gil Paterson has joined local activist Pauline Bowie to highlight Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Pauline, who suffers from the Lyme disease, has arranged for the Titan Crane to be lit-up green on the 16th May to help raise awareness locally.
Lyme disease is an increasingly common disease caused by a bacterial infection spread by infected blacklegged ticks – also known as deer ticks. Ticks are found crawling around in tall grass and leaf litter waiting for a host to attach themselves to. They do not jump or fly.
Symptoms, the best known of which is a red or pinkish rash in a bulls-eye pattern, are likely to appear 2 – 30 days after a bite from an infected tick. However, less than 20 % of all Lyme disease rashes have this classic bulls-eye appearance so the advice is to remove ticks promptly and seek medical advice as soon as possible.
Other early symptoms of Lyme disease include muscle and joint pain, fever, fatigue and headache with some people noticing areas of numbness or tingling.
Speaking to the Clydebank Post, Mr Paterson said;
“Lyme disease can be a debilitating disease and can produce symptoms throughout a lifetime.
“It is becoming increasingly common so everyone should be aware of the dangers and what to do if you pick up a tick. That’s why I commend Pauline’s efforts to highlight this issue by arranging for the landmark Titan Crane to be lit-up green during Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
“Pauline has worked tirelessly to help educate people about the facts of Lyme disease and to promote research into treatment.
“The best course of action is to prevent infection by using insect repellent, covering your skin when you are out in the countryside – tuck your trousers into your socks - and sticking to the middle of the path where possible.
“It is also a good idea to wear light coloured clothing so that the dark coloured ticks show-up and are easier to see.
“I would urge everyone to check for ticks whenever they’ve been out in the countryside or in tall grass anywhere. Better safe than sorry.”
Left untreated a Lyme infection can affect any system in the body and can produce debilitating fatigue, headaches, muscle pain, arthritis in any joint, numbness, tingling, nerve pain and weakness, heart problems, psychiatric disorders, difficulty with thinking and memory as well as problems with vision and hearing. The sheer variety of symptoms can make diagnosis difficult.
Treatment is generally a course of antibiotics, it can be necessary to take antibiotics over a sustained period of time.
For further information, visit the Lyme Resource Centre at http://www.lymeresourcecentre.com/