Thursday 04 June 2020

Found one tick bite? Then keep on checking, public heath body warns

Closeup of a full tick crawling on human skin

One in five people who report having been bitten by a tick actually have more than one bite, the Dutch public health institute RIVM said on Tuesday.

‘Most people find one tick when checking themselves, but almost one in five find two or more bites,’ RIVM researcher Kees van den Wijngaard said. ‘If you find more than one, then tell the people you were with so that they can make extra sure as well.’

The RIVM warning comes ahead of the Ascension and Whitsun holiday weekends, when the camping season starts. Half the tick bite reports listed on website Tekenradar.nl are made in June and July.

Ticks are prevalent all over the Netherlands but almost a quarter of the reports made to Tekenradar.nl were from people bitten in Gelderland.

Two to three in every hundred people bitten by a tick in the Netherlands will go on to develop Lyme disease and there were 27,000 new cases in 2017. Left untreated, Lyme can affect the joints, heart and central nervous system.

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