The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (Scotland) has called on the UK’s first aid organisations to acknowledge the danger that ticks present to human health.
In a letter to the St John Ambulance, the British Red Cross and the St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association, BASC Scotland has asked for a substantial revision of the first aid manual endorsed by the three organisations.
James Scott, BASC Scotland’s press and policy officer, said: “We are concerned that the current advice from these organisations may leave tick-borne diseases, such as Lyme Disease, undetected and that the suggested removal method of rocking the tick to and fro may increase the danger of infection. Current best practice would caution against such removal as it could actually encourage ticks to regurgitate their blood meal, along with infective agents, into the host’s bloodstream.”
“Ticks pose a health threat to all users of the countryside, but particularly to gamekeepers and wildlife managers. We are personally aware of a number of such people who suffer terribly from tick-borne diseases. We would urge all users of the countryside to particularly vigilant, not only in checking for ticks and tick bites but also in recognising the symptoms of tick-borne diseases and knowing how to safely remove attached ticks.”
The Scottish Government has acknowledged the danger that ticks pose and will be producing an information leaflet later this year.
More information on the dangers that ticks pose, the diseases that they carry and recommended removal techniques is available from www.bada-uk.org.