Currently, there are at least twenty known tick species in England. Southern England and the Scottish Highlands are areas with a high prevalence of ticks. However, you can find ticks in rural and urban settings across England. Reports claim at least 3,000 new cases of tick-borne diseases, like Lyme disease, occur annually.
Are there ticks in England?
Ticks are spreading throughout England. Multiple factors encourage the growth of tick species, including climate change. Warmer climates give ticks much more time to reproduce. Another reason for the spread of ticks is deforestation for building residential and commercial properties. Land development destroys tick habitats, forcing them to find new places to live, just like the wildlife in that area. If you see more wildlife in your neighborhood, there is a high chance ticks live there, too.
Ticks feed on warm-blooded humans and animals. When they travel, they can take the tick to a new area in the UK or worldwide. For example, if a tick attaches to a bird, it can travel wherever the bird flies, whether it stays in the country or migrates to a new area.
Learning how to protect yourself is crucial because you can’t avoid all areas with deer ticks.
Tick Bite Prevention
Ticks prefer to live in high grasses, weeds, and areas with heavy brush. If you know you are going to be outdoors in such an area, prepare by taking a few preventative steps, including:
- Wear clothing that covers your skin, like long-sleeved shirts, long pants, closed-toe shoes, socks, and hats.
- Spray tick repellent on your clothes and shoes.
- Protect pets that spend time outdoors by spraying them with tick repellent or medicine.
- Keep your lawn manicured and free of clutter.
- Conduct full-body checks on you and your pets upon returning from the outdoors.
Getting an Accurate Diagnosis
The best-case scenario is that you discover a tick bite soon after it occurs. If you discover the tick itself, even better. Save it for potential testing later. After a deer tick bites, you may develop a bullseye-shaped rash. This is a definite sign of Lyme disease. Make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Not everyone develops a rash, however. Within days or weeks of a tick bite, you may develop symptoms like headaches, stiff neck, chills, sweats, and fever. You may feel as if you have the flu, and unfortunately, unless you mention the possibility of having a tick bite, your doctor may misdiagnose you as having the common cold or flu.
Current Testing Limitations
Doctors who do pursue Lyme disease testing are limited by the available testing methods in England. The first test, the ELISA, is well known for giving false results. This happens because the test is designed to detect the Lyme bacteria antibodies, which aren’t always active. If the antibodies are inactive during your test, your results will be negative. Most doctors do not recommend a second test if the ELISA results are negative.
The laboratory will conduct a confirmation test using an immunoblot method for those who receive a positive result. It also tests for Lyme bacteria antibodies. Again, if the antibodies are not active at the time, your test results will be false. Furthermore, these tests often detect antibodies from other infections, interfering with Lyme disease test results.
Several alternative testing methods are highly effective, but you must seek help from a Lyme-literate doctor. You must be willing to consider traveling outside the United Kingdom to receive such testing.
Treatments for Lyme Disease
The first line of treatment after being bitten by a deer tick involves antibiotics. While general practitioners may be willing to prescribe a round of antibiotics even if your tests are negative, they cannot offer advanced treatments if they do not work. To eliminate Lyme disease, you must eliminate all the Lyme bacteria.
For example, at Lyme Mexico Clinic, Lyme-literate doctors use intravenous techniques to supply antibiotics directly into the bloodstream where bacteria live. They also offer non-invasive alternative treatments that can be performed in their clinic in just a few hours.
Alternative Treatments for Lyme Disease
At the Lyme Mexico Clinic, doctors use alternative treatments to relieve painful and chronic symptoms and prevent the return of Lyme disease and coinfections. Alternative therapies include the following:
- Therapeutic apheresis, including plasmapheresis, photopheresis, and red cell exchange. The process involves a machine that extracts blood, separates the infected components, and exchanges them for donated healthy blood components.
- Hyperthermia uses fever, your body’s natural way to flush out bacteria. The doctor slowly increases your internal temperature to a degree that activates and supports your body’s immune system.
- Biofilm Eradication is a treatment that eliminates the many biofilms Lyme bacteria build to shield themselves from detection by antibiotics and the immune system. The doctor sends a binding agent into your blood to attach to the biofilms, allowing them to be detected and destroyed.
- Detox protocols are individualized plans based on your unique treatment needs. Detox can involve dietary and lifestyle changes. It may also include supplements or IV drips to help you get the nutrients needed to fight infections.
Benefits of Traveling Outside the UK for Treatment
Before you reject the idea of traveling to places like Mexico for treatment, consider the following:
- You need a vacation. You can plan treatments to include vacation time with your family.
- You can spend valuable time and money searching for the right doctor in the UK. For some, this takes years of jumping from one specialist to another. Traveling to another country for an accurate diagnosis and treatment can help you get the treatment you deserve sooner and for less money.
- If someone you love is suffering from a debilitating disease, you would want them to travel to the best doctor for the most advanced treatments. You deserve the same care.
If you aren’t sure about traveling outside the UK for treatment, contact the Lyme Mexico Clinic to discuss your concerns. Together, you can create a plan that works.