Sheffield victim’s warning as Lyme disease cases soar

Laura Brown with Lyme Disease
Laura Brown with Lyme Disease

Walkers in the Peak District have been warned to wear long sleeves trousers to protect against Lyme disease after the number of cases soared.

Cases of the disease, which is caused by infected ticks, have quadrupled in 12 years with more than 1,100 diagnosed in 2013, according to the NHS.

Laura Brown enjoying life before Lyme Disease

Laura Brown enjoying life before Lyme Disease

Lyme disease can be treated with antibiotics but cause chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia if it remains untreated.

Sheffield mum Laura Brown is battling the devastating disease and has put all the strength she has left into a campaign for help from the NHS.

Laura, aged 39, who was born in Nether Edge and grew up in Stocksbridge, is fighting for more medical care to be made available to people like herself who suffer from late-stage Lyme Disease.

The heartbreaking condition, which was transmitted to her by a tick, has left her mostly bed-ridden.

She suffers from a long list of symptoms including speech and co-ordination problems, sound and light sensitivity, poor short term memory and problems with most of her internal organs.

She said: “The most important thing a person can do right now is to educate themselves and take preventative measures to avoid contracting Lyme disease, or the co-infections that can so often come along with it, in the first place.”

She suggests that before walkers leave the house they apply ticket repellent and wear light-coloured long-sleeve T-shirts and trousers to make ticks easier to spot.

They should also tuck trousers into socks or boots and shirts into trousers to minimise the chance of ticks getting to exposed skin.

She added: “Check yourself, your children and your pets every couple of hours for attached ticks. Ticks can be as tiny as a poppy seed, and very hard to spot – look carefully.

“Once home check your entire body for ticks. Important areas to check are behind the ears, inside the outer ear, under the arms, behind knees, the trunk of the body and the scalp.”