Lyme Disease and Edmondstown
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is spread to human by infected ticks.
The ticks that cause Lyme disease are commonly found in woodland and heathland areas. This is because these types of habitats have a high number of tick-carrying animals, such as deer, mice and sheep.
Lyme disease is not a common infection. It is estimated that there are between 50 and 100 cases in Ireland each year.
Due to their breeding patterns, the tick population is highest in late spring and early summer.
If a tick bites an animal that has the bacteria, they can also become infected with it. The tick can then transfer the bacteria to a human by biting them and feeding on their blood.
In general, the longer the tick has been attached to the skin, the greater the risk of passing on infection – it is uncommon for the infection to be passed in the first hours after a bite meaning it is important to look for ticks and to remove them.
The problem is that the ticks are very small and they do not cause pain so it can be difficult to realise that you have a tick attached to your skin.
Once an infection has taken place, the bacteria move slowly through your skin and into your blood and lymphatic system. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a red skin rash that looks similar to a bull's eye on a dart board.
Antibiotic tablets are recommended for the treatment of early-stage Lyme disease. Most people will require a 2-3 week course of antibiotics.
If you are pregnant and get Lyme disease, treatment with antibiotics will not pose any additional risk to your unborn baby. The bacteria that causes Lyme disease cannot be passed on through breast milk.
You can reduce the risk of infection by:
- Being aware of ticks and which areas they normally live in
- Wearing appropriate clothing in tick-infested areas (a long-sleeve shirt and long trousers)
- Using insect repellents
- Inspecting your skin for ticks, particularly at the end of the day, including your head, neck, and skin folds (armpits, groin, and waistband)
- Checking that ticks are not brought home on your clothes
- Not feeding or petting the deer on the course
The management Board has sought advice on Lyme disease and advises that the risk is low. The deer are present on all the local golf courses and seem to have lost their fear of humans. We don’t advise feeding or petting them just in case you attract a tick bite.