We “live in fear of Lyme” disease

This is a tick

American actor, Alec Baldwin, has spoken out again recently about his experience of Lyme disease.

The 63 year old has been battling with Lyme disease for the last 20 years after being bitten several times by ticks. He said that the Hamptons, where he lives, has plenty of forests and fields and is like “tick central”. He and his family “live in fear of Lyme disease”.

He describes how his symptoms came on one August when he was in his forties, “like someone snapped their fingers and put a spell on me.” He says that it just attacks him, he gets “inexplicable” joint pain and ends up spending days in bed.

Alec reflects on the fact that he and his wife want their 6 children to make the most of time outdoors but the risk in his area is so great that they can’t do as much as they’d like. Alec’s wife has said that she is “pulling ticks off the kids all year long” and he wishes they did not have to spend everyday “going over them with a magnifying glass to make sure they don’t have any ticks on their body”.

Alec has noted that ticks are particularly active when they have a mild winter (which might explain why ticks are adapting so well to life in the UK).

Alec has worked with Lyme disease charities in the US to help raise money for more research. Lyme disease is a much bigger problem in the US with approximately 300,000 new cases a year. Although the UK has a much lower number of cases, the problem is on the rise and the World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that Lyme disease is now the fastest spreading and most common vector borne disease in Europe.

For more information about Lyme disease and ticks, click here.

The WHO’s findings certainly support our experience that tick activity in the UK is increasing. We are getting reports of ticks from all over the country and that they are more active than this time last year! Recent research from the Universities of Glasgow and Liverpool has confirmed that ticks are adapting to survive in all types of habitats in the UK, not just wooded areas.

So, when it comes to ticks, prevention is key! Here are our tops tips:

Top tick tips!

  • Stick to clearly defined paths
  • Wear light coloured clothing so ticks can be spotted easily and brushed off
  • Wear trousers, long sleeve tops and boots, whenever possible
  • Spray Botanic Protect on all areas of exposed skin
  • Use a picnic blanket or mat when sitting on grass (preferably without a pile)
  • Carry out regular tick checks
  • Keep a tick removal tool in the house or in your bag
  • Stay up to date with your pet tick treatments

If you would like to know more about ticks, visit our ‘case studies’ page here.

*Source, People.com, “Alec Baldwin on Dealing with Years of Lyme Disease Pain”, by Julie Mazziotta 09.06.21

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