Irish news articles related to tick-borne infections
To view Tick Talk’s surveys including results go to:
To view questions in Irish government go to:
For Lyme on Radio check out:
For Irish related Science articles go to:
*Updated 15th Sep 2016
Living with Lyme documentary
We have exciting news of an upcoming documentary, ‘Living with Lyme Disease’ which will be broadcast on Tuesday October 11th 2016 at 2100hrs(9pm) on IrishTV, Channel 191, Freest 400, irishtv.ie.
For trailer plus interviews with the documentary team, see link below…
Ticks in the park could run to billions
Killarney Today Sep 2016: It has emerged that the infestation of insects that spread the infection is likely to be a lot more serious in Killarney than initially thought
Father wants alert signs erected in national park
Killarney Today Sep 2016: A KILLARNEY native home on holidays with his family has complained that, between them, his two children and their cousin were bitten up to 100 times by ticks during a visit to Muckross House and Gardens.
‘Take no chances with ticks,’ warns Kinnegad woman living with Lyme Disease
Westmeath Examiner Sep 2016: Seven years ago, when Kinnegad woman Catherine Keating developed meningitis-like symptoms, she was admitted to hospital, little suspecting that her life was about to change forever.
Lyme disease covered on morning television
TV3 Sunday AM Aug 2016: We’re joined by Dr John Lambert, a consultant in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine and Nicola Lavin, a Lyme Disease sufferer (ps clip may be avail for a limited time only)
Juvenile rowers being treated for Lyme disease
Killarney Today Aug 2016: Juvenile rowers from Killarney who competed in the recent All-Ireland Coastal Championships in Donegal have been diagnosed with early stage Lyme disease
WHY IT’S IMPORTANT TO PREVENT YOUR FAMILY FROM TICK BITES
My Kids Time Jun 2016: advice for parents in protecting their family against ticks, written by Tick Talk Ireland’s co-founder, Jenny O’Dea
It took four years for doctors to diagnose Ryan’s Lyme disease
Irish Times Jun 2016: Denise Ryan (32) has ‘thrown up everyday for the past three years’ and has the bone density of a 90-year-old
Ticks and tick-borne diseases
Waterford Today Jun 2016: Vet surgeon John D Owens talks about the risk of ticks on pets
HSE warns cyclists on “severely debilitating” Lyme disease risk
Sticky bottle May 2016: Those out cycling as the weather warms up have been warned by the HSE that Lyme disease can cause severe debilitating heart and nervous system disease.
I promise I’ll meet this horrible disease head-on
Killarney Today May 2016: Anthony Morris, former Spa footballer, who played at minor, under 21 and junior level for Kerry, is in constant pain and suffering from serious fatigue with his brain, nervous system, heart and other organs now under attack from the disease.
HPSC has designated the week beginning May 2nd, 2016, as Lyme Awareness Week.
EPI Insights May 2016: HSE publishes latest notifiable cases (which are under reported as only 2 tier positive neuro borreliosis cases are recorded – see our article on testing (PDF) for possible problems created by using 2 tier tests as standard).
This article does say the following ‘It is likely that the figure of 50 LB cases countrywide per annum would be a considerable underestimate.’
Think it couldn’t happen here?
Living with Lyme Disease: ‘I was throwing up all day, I couldn’t see properly, I was confused and had heart palpitations’
Independent.ie Feb 2015: When she moved to Canada, Denise Ryan loved life there. But, over time she became very ill and came home. Following a diagnosis of Lyme disease, she discovered there was little help for her here in Ireland
Irishwoman Sophie Moore’s fury at late diagnosis of disease
Irish Mirror Jan 2015: A deadly disease is forcing one woman to go to America for treatment – because she fears she will die if she stays here.
Students aim to help with Sophie’s Lyme disease ‘living hell’
Irish Examiner Jan 2015: “It’s like hell every day,” Sophie Moore, 22, from Douglas, Cork, said. “I live minute to minute. I should be loving and living life but at this stage, I’m really just wishing for my life back.”
*Updated 19th May 2016
Protect yourself against Lyme disease
May 2016: HSE raises awareness during Lyme awareness week, several papers mentioned Lyme, most quoting from the article posted below…
Lethal ticks now a major problem in Killarney
Killarney Today May 2016: IN a week in which a Killarney father of one travelled to Washington for specialist treatment to help him fight the dreadful impact of Lyme disease, a local veterinary surgeon has warned the public to ensure they do everything they can to keep themselves and their dogs safe.
Irish mother-of-two in Germany receiving treatment for Lyme disease
Independent.ie May 2016: A 40-year-old mother-of-two has travelled to Germany for intensive treatment of a chronic disease which has rendered her in excruciating pain and unable to walk for long periods.
All Ireland winner who contracted Lyme Disease: ‘A woman in the waiting room thought I was going to die’
Independent.ie May 2016: Grace Weston was a typical sociable student, until she began showing symptoms of fatigue and extreme pain. After a decade-long struggle, she was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease.
New Government urged to support proposal for national ME clinic in Galway
Galway advertiser May 2016: ME patient David is campaigning for a national ME Clinic. ‘Two years after he became ill he was told he had ME. This year he was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, a bacterial illness spread by tick bites. Worldwide research indicates that between 40 and 70 per cent of ME patients have chronic Lyme disease, he says.’
A touch of Lyme
April 2016: Blob the scientist (an Irish technical inst teacher) writes about Lyme disease – see comments from Tick Talk at bottom of article too!
Reportings of Lyme disease quite high in Ireland
Kerryman Feb 2016: Dr Michelle Cooper ‘Prevention is always better than cure’
One Little Tick Bite in Ireland
Jan 2016: Blogger tells of family’s tick bites whilst holidaying in Ireland – ‘The tick could not have been attached for any longer than 8 hours. Nonetheless, I later developed Lyme disease and babesiosis.’
Good to see Sinead shining again
Cork News Nov 2015: “IT is so good to see the real Sinéad shining through again.” These are the words of the mum of Rathcormac teenager Sinéad Kearney, who has recently returned from New York where she had treatment for Lyme Disease.
Lyme disease on the rise
Irish Examiner Oct 2015: THE culprit is so small that it’s difficult to see, but it can strike with deadly effect. Cases of Lyme disease are increasing in Britain and people here [in Ireland] are again being urged to take precautions.
Northern Ireland company director had to spend £80,000 on treatment abroad for Lyme disease
Belfast Telegraph Oct 2015: Several people in Northern Ireland suffer from Lyme disease and are desperate for help
Lyme disease cases have quadrupled
Independent.ie Oct 2015: Growth in housing and climate change blamed for quadrupling of cases in little more than a decade
Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter Ally describes her battle with Lyme disease: ‘It took over every single cell in my body and in my brain’
Independent.ie Oct 2015: The daughter of designer Tommy Hilfiger has spoken publicly about the impact Lyme disease has had on her life.
Tick bite led to years of suffering for Fiona
Independent.ie Aug 2015: To most of us, a tick may seem harmless. The tiny spider-like creatures are often found in grassy areas and most think that a bite may not do any damage. Fiona Quilter learned the hard way.
Tick tock – time to raise awareness about Lyme disease
Irish Times Aug 2015: Davida Forde spent weeks in a wheelchair, exhausted and in extreme pain – all from a tick bite
Lyme Disease: Tick Bites Might Seem Harmless But One Women Tells Of Their Catastrophic Health Consequences
For the September issue of STELLAR, we investigated the enigma that is Lyme Disease and discovered other Lyme-like diseases too. We spoke with reader Hannah, who was bitten three years ago, about her experience.
Celebs highlight threat posed by tick bites
Irish News May 2015: Campaigners have spent years warning of the dangers of Lyme disease, but celebrity sufferers could be the key to raising awareness
Parents warning for Lyme disease as ticks reach peak
By Fiona Dillon – 06 April 2015 03:00 AM
Why Hannah’s happy to be on the road . . . to recovery
Independent.ie Feb 2014: Hannah Nolan, who thankfully is making a recovery from Lyme disease after being bitten on the ankle by a deer tick.
Northern Irish patient’s story published in Facial Palsy web site: In June 2013 Janet’s life turned upside down, after stepping off a transatlantic flight on a muggy evening in Seattle..
*Updated 2nd Jun 2015
Spot the signs of Lyme disease
Irish Farmers Journal May 2015 – Margaret Hawkins finds out why we need to be aware of Lyme disease in Ireland, a serious illness that can be carried by the common sheep or cattle tick.
Irish mum shares her Lyme disease story to raise urgent awareness
Mummy Pages – Hannah Nolan, an Athletics Ireland Fit4Life Ambassador, took to her Facebook account this week to share her two-year experience with the illness.
Fitness instructor Hannah: ‘I was bitten by a tick in Wicklow and got Lyme disease’
Irish Independent – May 2015 When runner Hannah Nolan started underperforming, she knew something wasn’t right. Here, she describes how she contracted Lyme disease from a tiny tick bite, that almost went unnoticed
‘I thought I was going to die’ – Irish woman’s mystery illness after insect bite in Wicklow
Evoke May 2015 – Hannah Nolan, an ambassador for Athletics Ireland, fell desperately ill in 2013 with a mystery illness that left her in hospital in agony with no energy and two years later, she’s still battling to feel normal again.
A bug bite wrecked Elaine Griffin’s health
Mayo Advertiser Nov 2014 – Ms Griffin suffers from Lyme disease, an illness passed to humans when they are bitten by an infected tick. The condition has wreaked havoc on the musician and artist’s health and seen her travel the globe in search of answers to her litany of health problems over almost 25 years.
*Updated 28th Apr 2015
News for Lyme Awareness, Spring 2015…
Ticking the Lyme Disease boxes
April 27 marks the beginning of Lyme Disease Awareness week, in light of this event, Yvonne Evans spoke to one Cork woman about how battle with the disease.
EPI Insights: HPSC holds lyme disease awareness week
European CDC maps shows Ireland at great risk for tick-borne diseases
More bad press for grey squirrels
Grey squirrels are in the dock again – this time for harbouring a serious infection that can be spread to humans by ticks.
HSE issues warning about Lyme disease
Heading to the country? Keep an eye out for disease-spreading ticks
HSE urges people who take part in outdoor pursuits to protect against Lyme
Tick Talk’s book (distributed to schools in 2013) is now available on kindle
Does Lyme exist in Ireland? (PDF)
What to watch out for this summer? – good tips for parents (2014)
*Updated 10th Feb 2015
Lyme Disease Debate:
In 2013 & 2014 Lyme disease has been brought to the fore at the Oireachtas Health Committee at Governement Headquarters in Dublin. Below are some links to follow the progress – this was a patient led initiative & Tick Talk fully supports the need for more acknowledgement, fairer treatment & improved testing for those suffering from the disease..
News on the hearing 2013: https://ticktalkireland.wordpress.com/2013/12/02/hear-hear/
Dan Daneville TD supports the cause & reads out Tick Talk’s leaflet at the Dail (Irish government) Feb 2014: http://www.danneville.ie/encouriging-awareness-prevention-and-treatment-of-lyme-disease-in-ireland/
Update on the hearing Jan 2014: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/Debates%20Authoring/DebatesWebPack.nsf/committeetakes/HEJ2014121800021?opendocument
Past meetings with Tick Talk & the HPSC: https://ticktalkireland.files.wordpress.com/2013/02/hpsc-minutes.pdf
Letter to the Minister of Health, PM of UK & European CDC: https://ticktalkireland.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/letter-concern-web1.pdf
Letter to the HPSC & IDSI et al (Health Protection & Infectious Diseases Ireland): https://ticktalkireland.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/idsi-et-al.pdf
To view questions at government level over the years go to: https://www.kildarestreet.com/search/?s=lyme+disease
Midland Infectious Disease Activity Summary (MIDAS) publishes Lyme disease warning (HSE April 2014 page 2 of PDF)
http://www.lenus.ie/hse/bitstream/10147/321823/1/MIDAS Vol 4 issue 1 June 2014.pdf
HPSC urges protection against Lyme disease
Medical Independent 20th May 2014
HEALTH Ticks and Lyme disease – Waiting in the long grass
Doctor’s insight, Dr Ronan Clancy, (Mayo News 17 June 2014)
How to avoid getting Ticked Off
The Hillwalker’s Club April – May 2013 (page 15 of PDF)
Deer Alliance – Information on Lyme Disease (July 2011)
*Updated 16th Oct 2014
Westport woman calls for more awareness on tick bite disease
By Frances Toner Mayo Advertiser, Fri, Sep 26, 2014
“I would never want anyone to have to go through what I went through to firstly identify the illness, and then to get treatments,” said Ms Griffin. “I am trying my best, as a creative person, to find ways to get word out there in a way that accessible.”
Elaine Griffin interviewed on CRCfm where she chats about living with Lyme Disease. By Johnny Oosten:
*Updated 29th July 2014
The Dracula Bug: Why you should be wary of dangerous ticks – by Dr Kiara Kelly Irish Independent 20th July 2014
With Lyme Disease on the increase, here’s how you can protect yourself this summer.
Plea to help raise awareness of Lyme disease – Limerick Leader 12th July 2014
A TOURNAFULLA woman has said that lack of awareness led to her going undiagnosed with Lyme disease for years.
Insect Bite: ‘Lyme disease almost destroyed my life’ – Carol Galvin Irish Independent 8th July 2014
An insect bite seems like a minor annoyance. But as the HSE urges us to protect themselves against tick bites, Celine Naughton talks to those whose lives have been shattered by a single encounter.
A shooting pain in my foot… then it spread over my body – Sean O’Connor Irish Independent 8th July 2014
Part 2 of Celine’s Interviews..
Avoiding ticks and other bugs this summer – Irish Independent 9th July 2014
Some top tips to help protect yourself this summer.
HSE urge people to take care against Lyme disease which is spread by tick bites – by Dr. Karen Palmer Sunday World 23rd June 2014
The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre have urged people who take part in outdoor pursuits to protect themselves against Lyme disease, which is spread by tick bites.
From 2013: Raising funds for treatment in Germany – Longford Leader Sep 2013
A fundraiser will take place in the Village Inn, Drumlish on October 12, in aid of 35-year-old Carol Galvin.
Carol getting stronger thanks to treatment in leading clinic – Longford Leader Dec 2013
Athlone-based Carol Galvin has been in Germany for the past number of weeks, receiving treatment for Lyme Disease.
From 2012: Pauline helps raise awareness of Lyme Disease – Irish Independent May 2012
THE MONTH of May marks International Lyme Awareness Month. Particular efforts have been made in recent years to highlight the disease within Co. Wicklow thanks to member of Tick Talk charity Pauline Reid who hails from Arklow.
*Updated 9th June 2014
Take care outdoors – Lyme disease warning 5th June 2014
Small spider-like ticks, which are commonly found in woodland and heathland areas, can spread Lyme disease, with those who participate in outdoor activities encouraged to be aware of its the possible effects.
Ticks on wild deer could carry public health risk – Irish Examiner Mar 2012
Senator Moloney talks about the risk of Lyme disease in the Kerry area – we met with Senator Moloney back in 2012 & she brought the issue up also at the Dail (Irish government)
*Updated 3rd June 2014
AVOIDING TICK BITES
Tick Talk mentioned in this hiker’s blog published May 2014
Lyme Disease: A Cause for Concern?
Published in med guru Ireland Feb 2014
Lyme Disease—Our Story
This story is by Oranmore/Kinvara resident Mary Smyth whose husband Ben was diagnosed with lyme disease in 2006 (published 27th June 2013)
*Updated 29th May 2014
News interviews with Tick Talk members:
Tuam Herald May 2014 with Tick Talk volunteer Ben Smyth
Tuam Hearld Benen may 2014 (hit back button when read, may need to rotate file on opening!)
Connacht Tribune Spring 2014 – article on Ben Smyth Galway
Connaught Tribune Spring 2014 PDF (hit back button when read, may need to rotate file on opening!)
Tick Awareness Week 2014:
HPSC updates awareness posters for travellers & children
Lyme Disease Warning
Cork News 23rd May 2014
Bloodsucker bug warning for outdoor enthusiasts
Irish Herald 21st May 2014
HSE warn public to protect against Lyme disease
Westmeath Independent 21st May 2014
Going to be outside this summer? Get protected against Lyme Disease says the HSE
The Journal May 20th 2014
Warning about Lyme Disease
Today FM 20 May 2014
Outdoor activities fans warned to be careful of tick bites
Westmeath Examiner 20th May 2014
Don’t ignore ticks…
Slainte Magazine 20th May 2014
Feel good Magazine Irish Examiner 30 Jul 2010
http://media.irishexaminer.com/feelgood/2010/2010-07-30.pdf (see page 2)
*Updated 11th Feb 2014
Keen runner Hannah Nolan describes her decline of health following a tick bite in Ireland – published in Irish Runner Magazine Feb 2014 Running World (PDF copy, hit back to return to page when done!)
This is Hannah’s story before she was bitten re: her running & weight loss success at: http://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/hannah-a-figure-of-inspiration-26832309.html
*Updated 10th Jan 2014
Compendium of Irish articles – 30 pages of studies, TV, radio & news interviews all related to Lyme in Ireland https://ticktalkireland.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/ireland-articles1.doc
*Updated 2nd December 2013 + 14th Dec 2013
On 21st November a hearing on Lyme Disease was held at the Oireachtas Health Committee in the Irish Government Buildings Dublin.
For Tick Talk’s summary of the event head on down to: https://ticktalkireland.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/committee-for-health-write-up.doc
A copy of the full transcript is available at: http://oireachtasdebates.oireachtas.ie/Debates%20Authoring/DebatesWebPack.nsf/committeetakes/HEJ2013112100001?opendocument
The full hearing (90 minutes) can be played back at: http://www.oireachtas.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=24859&&CatID=127
Nolan TD was thanked for bringing it to committee’s attention & Lyme Disease may be re-visited again next year.
To see a newspaper write up check out: Irish Independent 22 Nov 2013
Plus latest news article ‘I was so tired and had this feeling that I’d just collapse’ – NEWLY ADDED 14TH DEC 2013
Tracy Brennan endured a long and often traumatic road before getting a diagnosis, writes Edel Coffey
*Updated 12th November 2013
An article was published in a Connemara News paper about a lady suffering in pain from Lyme disease, she was also interviewed on Irish radio…connemara oct 2013
*Updated 14th October 2013
Irish News covers Lyme Disease: Ticking off Bug Bites – published August 31 2013 (for PDF’s click the back arrow to return to page!)
Irish news aug 31 2013
Lady describes how she became wheel chair bound after a tick bite in Scotland – published in the Irish Daily Mail June 11 2013
daily mail ireland june 2013
Ray Mears raises awareness in the Irish Evening Herald April 2011
ray mears lyme disease 2011
Lyme disease often under diagnosed says HPSC
Epi-Insight, Volume 10, Issue 11, November 2009
*Updated 20th September 2013
Published in the Galway Advertiser September 20th 2013
Living with Lyme Disease
Benen Smyth from Co Galway describes the struggles with Lyme & how it changed his life forever..
*Updated 16th August 2013
Published in the Irish Times August 6th 2013
What Lurks in the Long Grass..
The great danger of Lyme disease, caused by the bite of an infected tick, is that it often goes undiagnosed..more at:
*Updated May 2013
Irish Independent – Don’t Get Ticked Off This Summer: May 2013
Irish Daily Mail – Experts Warn About Lyme Disease: May 2013 (PDF – hit back button to return to page!)
Check out some Irish Lyme stories & video on our blog post at:
*Updated 22nd Nov 2012
Newspaper article with Tick Talk officer Jenny O’Dea Nov 2012
*Updated 1st Aug 2012
Newspaper article about Marina Murphy Sunday Mirror July 2012
Call for Lyme disease to be added to HPSC’s notifiable diseases list
Ailbhe Jordan | 29 Apr 2010 | 0 Comment(s)
A Galway GP is calling for Lyme disease to be added to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s (HPSC) list of notifiable illnesses [lyme is now notifiable but only lab confirmed neuroborreliosis cases are being reported]..
Dr John McCormack, who practices in Rosmuc, spoke out following the publication in February of a study by neurologists at University College Hospital Galway, which found that the Republic of Ireland has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in Europe and suggested that the condition was “endemic,” in the West of Ireland.
According to the research, Portumna in Galway has the highest seroprevalence in the country of 8.7 per cent, compared to a national average of 3.4 per cent.
The report was prompted by research Dr McCormack carried out in Connemara in 2006 after discovering that GPs were dealing with a cluster of at least 19 cases in the area.
His survey, which was published in the ICGP journal Forum in May 2008, challenged the preconception that the disease was “a rare illness that someone brings home, having travelled to North America”.
Of 19 patients who were suffering from the disease – which in Ireland is commonly transmitted through deer ticks – only two contracted it abroad; one in the US and one in Prague.
“Smallpox is still a notifiable disease, so too is anthrax, which is irrelevant apart from when terrorists send powder in white envelopes, but Lyme disease, which is genuinely with us and on the up-and-up, is not,” Dr McCormack told the Medical Independent.
The UCHG report found that of 42 patients with serological evidence of acute Lyme disease, 67 per cent were living in the West of Ireland, while recent travel outside Ireland was documented in just seven cases.
Consultant Neurologist Dr Timothy Counihan, senior author of the report, said awareness and diagnosis of Lyme disease was poor amongst Irish medical practitioners.
While the disease is usually treatable by common antibiotics such as amoxicillin, the report found that Lyme disease can lead to “significant neurological complications,” especially if it is left untreated.
“The disease is under recognised,” Dr Counihan told the MI.
“It is treatable but easy to miss and if not treated, can be very serious. And there is a lack of awareness about it except in niche areas like dermatology and neurology.”
Latest figures available from the HPSC show that in 2007, 71 cases of Lyme disease were reported in Irish hospital laboratories, indicating a crude incidence rate of 1.67 per 100,000. However the report acknowledged that the true figure was likely to be higher due to the lack of available data.
As the summer season approaches, when most cases of the disease are diagnosed, Dr McCormack said more up-to-date data are needed.
“We just have no proper figures or data on it,” he said.
“There is a trailer-load of Lyme disease out there – it may not be spotted or is being spotted late and that has significant consequences.”
Minister for Health Ms Mary Harney said last September there were no plans to make Lyme disease notifiable, in correspondence with the patient advocacy group Tick Talk.
Irish Examiner How to treat pets for ticks and lice
Thursday, April 19, 2012 By Denise Hall
HSE warns against risk of Lyme disease
Galway Advertiser, April 28, 2011.
By Kevin Hough
The HSE Health Protection Surveillance Centre yesterday warned the public regarding the dangers of Lyme disease. Spread by tick bites, in a minority of cases it can cause severe debilitating heart and nervous system disease.
With more people engaging in outdoor pursuits during the summer months, those who work and walk in forested or grassy areas must be vigilant against tick bites, says Dr Paul McKeown, HPSC specialist in public health medicine.
“Ticks are tiny insect like creatures that feed on the blood of mammals and birds and will also feed on humans. Ticks are more numerous and more active in the summer months and protecting against tick bites protects against Lyme disease.
Dr McKeown said: “Tick bites can be prevented by wearing long trousers, long sleeved shirt and shoes, using an insect repellent, checking skin, hair and warm skin folds (especially the neck and scalp of children) for ticks, removing any ticks, and consulting with a GP if symptoms develop.
“Only a minority of ticks carry infection. If a tick is removed within a few hours, the risk of infection is low. The entire tick, including any mouthparts which might break off, should be removed with a tweezers by grippi65g it close to the skin. The skin where the tick was found should then be washed with soap and water and the area checked over the next few weeks for swelling or redness. Anyone who develops a rash or other symptoms should visit their GP and explain that they have been bitten by a tick. Although the true incidence of Lyme disease is not known it is likely that there are at least 50 -100 cases in Ireland every year.”
Good article on protecting your kids from the dangers of Lyme Disease in Ireland: (page no longer available)
Also an article written by Tick Talk Ireland:
Warning issued after chipmunks sighted [possible risk of Lyme]
The Irish Times – Thursday, September 23, 2010 (login required)
WILDLIFE EXPERTS have issued an “invasive species alert” following sightings of Siberian chipmunks on the loose in Co Waterford. The striped rodents, native to northern Asia, are regarded as a “significant threat” to the survival of the Irish red squirrel, which is already imperilled by the grey squirrel.
Colette O’Flynn, manager of the National Invasive Species Database, explained that “Co Waterford remains a stronghold for red squirrels as the invasive grey squirrel has not as yet, penetrated into the heart of the county” but the chipmunk has “similar habitats and food requirements”.
She said the authorities were “alarmed” by sightings of chipmunks last month in Colligan Woods near Dungarvan. It is believed the creatures were bought as pets and escaped or were deliberately released into the wild. The first sighting occurred on August 10th when a member of the public spotted and photographed a chipmunk crossing a road.
The sighting sparked concern among officials at the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. There was relief three days later when a dead chipmunk was found in the area. Officials hoped the sighting was “a one off”. However, a fresh sighting occurred on August 15th when a local resident, Dina Walshe saw and photographed another chipmunk whose behaviour suggested it might have been a former pet “as it did not shy away from close human contact”.
She submitted photographs to the National Biodiversity Data Centre, which then issued the invasive species alert. The Siberian chipmunk (Eutamias sibiricus) is normally found in woodlands in northern Russia, China, Korea and Japan and is distinguished by five longitudinal stripes along its back. The rodent can grow to a length of 25cm and lives on a diet of shrubs, mushrooms, berries, birds and other small animals.
Chipmunks can spread rabies and also carry the ticks which harbour Lyme disease. In Russia, they are regarded as pests which cause widespread destruction of nut and grain crops and can also threaten ground-nesting birds.
Ms O’Flynn confirmed it was “illegal to release any non-native species into the wild in Ireland without a licence” and that it was also “cruel to release a pet into the wild”. She pointed out that “Siberian chipmunks do not make ideal pets” as they “do not suit confinement and are difficult to contain”.
She also appealed to people who spot a chipmunk in the wild to take a photograph if possible and report the sighting. Ms O’Flynn added, “during 2009 and 2010, we have seen a number of species associated with the pet trade end up in the wild in Ireland”.
Tick warning over cases of Lyme disease
DANGER: Insect alert for ramblers
By Fiona Dillon
Thursday June 24 2010
THIS summer has seen an increase in the number of cases of potentially serious Lyme disease, which is spread by the bite of an infected tick.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) South confirmed that there had been cases of Lyme disease in people in the Cork and Kerry region.
However, as it is not a notifiable disease, it was not possible to say with accuracy how many cases there were, it said.
The disease is caused by a bacterium which is spread by the bite of a tick.
The tiny spider-like insects feed on the blood of small animals. They are usually found close to the ground, especially in moist, shaded areas, such as woodland, moorland and other grassy areas.
The HSE advised ramblers and others involved in countryside pursuits to wear protective clothing and use insect repellents. Ticks should be removed quickly, while early diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease was important, the HSE said. It said that leaflets have been distributed to visitor centres of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
According to experts, Lyme disease is a diagnosis that is often overlooked by doctors. However, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre recently moved to increase awareness, publishing a leaflet advising the public on how to protect themselves against ticks bites and Lyme disease.
Specialist in public health medicine Dr Paul McKeown said that the leaflet would be particularly useful for ramblers, campers, mountainbikers and people who work and walk in forested or grassy areas.
However he stressed that the risk of contracting Lyme disease is low.
The HPSC information leaflet estimated that there are between 50 to 100 cases of Lyme disease in Ireland each year.
The first symptom is a rash that can appear three to 30 days after the tick bite. It starts as a small red dot at the bite site but may grow larger with time.
The centre of the spot often fades creating a characteristic “bulls-eye” appearance. It is generally a mild disease, affecting only the skin.
However, occasionally, a severe form can develop and the heart, joints or the nervous system can be affected.
The disease is treated using antibiotics, and treatment lasts generally for up to three weeks.
The advice is if bitten by a tick, don’t panic. Only a small minority carry the infection, and those that do generally need to be attached to the skin for at least 24 hours before infection occurs.
Be careful of walks on wild side
http://www.independent.ie/health/be-careful-of-walks-on-wild-side-2254859.html [link no longer available]
Monday July 12 2010
Ramblers and campers, as well as those who come in contact with large animals, are at greatest risk of being bitten by ticks and of going on to develop disease.
Around 30 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease here every year, with a higher-than-average incidence in Galway.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread to humans by infected ticks — small, spider-shaped insects that feed on the blood of mammals, including humans.
The most common symptom of Lyme disease is a red skin rash similar to a bullseye on a dartboard.
However, if Lyme disease is left untreated, further symptoms can follow, including: a high temperature of 38C (100.4F) or over; muscle pain; joint pain and swelling; neurological symptoms, such as temporary paralysis of the facial muscles.
Be mindful of ticks when walking in grassy, bushy or woodland areas, particularly between May and October.
* Cover arms and legs — wear long trousers tucked into your socks or boots, and long-sleeved shirts with cuffs fastened.
* Wear shoes or boots rather than open-toed sandals.
* Use insect repellent on clothes if desired, or on limbs if it is not practical to cover up.
* Inspect skin and clothing for ticks every three to four hours; check children’s skin and clothes frequently.
* At the end of the day, check your and your children’s bodies thoroughly for attached ticks, including skin folds such as armpits and groins.
* Remove a tick as soon as you see one attached to the skin. Grasp it as close to your skin as possible with tweezers if necessary. Take care to remove it entirely using gentle but firm pressure as the tick’s head can break off and be left behind.
* Following a tick bite, there is likely to be an area of redness. The vast majority of these look like nettle or bee stings and are just allergic reactions to the tick’s saliva and do not indicate infection.
* Check your pets for ticks as they are also at risk of infection. Tick-repellent sprays or collars may also help.
* See your doctor if you develop a rash or become unwell with other symptoms. Let your doctor know if you have been exposed to ticks.
HSE North West Advise on Protection Against Lyme Disease
The HSE North West, Public Health Department advises that people involved in outdoor activities protect themselves against Lyme disease, a bacterial infection spread by bites from infected ticks.
“Most cases of Lyme disease are mild, but occasionally severe infection can cause heart problems, arthritis or even meningitis. Simple measures that can prevent tick bites include: Wearing long trousers tucked into socks, long sleeved tops and closed shoes, not sandals.
Dr. Fionnuala Cooney, Specialist Registrar in Public Health Medicine, HSE North West says,
Use insect repellents
Stick to paths and avoid walking through dense vegetation.
Thankfully only a minority of ticks carry the infection and the risk of infection is low if the tick is removed within a few hours.”
The ticks that carry Lyme disease are common in the countryside, especially in woodlands and grassy areas. The ticks feed on the blood of mammals and birds and will also feed on humans.
These ticks are more common and more active during the summer months. The first symptom of Lyme disease is often a rash that can appear 3 to 30 days after the tick bite.
Following outdoor activities in wooded or grassy areas it is advisable that people check their body for ticks.
If a tick is found, it should be removed as soon as possible with a tweezers (close to the skin) and the area washed with soap and water. The bite site should be checked over the next four weeks for swelling or rash. If symptoms develop, the family doctor should be consulted.
Although the true incidence of Lyme disease is not known in Ireland, it is not a common infection.
The Health Protection Surveillance Centre report that it is likely that there are 50 – 100 cases in Ireland every year. Cases of Lyme disease are common in North America and in Northern and Central Europe and visitors on outdoor trips in these areas need to be vigilant for ticks.
More information on Lyme disease, including a useful information leaflet, is available at HPSC website at:
The Irish Times – Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Blood-sucking mites at root of Lyme disease
MEDICAL MATTERS: If you’re exposed to ticks, do a daily tick check, writes MUIRIS HOUSTON
DEER AND especially fawns are beautiful creatures. During a recent holiday in rural Canada, we stayed for some days in a densely wooded area where deer wandered freely between houses and along roads. But we also had encounters with less welcome creatures; we were bitten with ticks which we were careful to remove with tweezers.
Why the fuss? Lyme disease is spread by tick bites, ticks are especially common among deer and the best way to prevent infection is the prompt removal of ticks before they get the chance to burrow under the skin. An infection caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, it is transmitted to humans by bites from ticks infected with the bacteria. The infection is generally mild, affecting only the skin, but can occasionally spread to cause a debilitating illness.
First described in 1977, Lyme disease is named after the town of Lyme in Connecticut where it was identified as the cause of an outbreak of arthritis in children. Since somewhat disparagingly referred to as the “Lyme capital of the world”, the northeastern US town is typical of the lightly forested areas where the bug is most frequently found. But it has spread and is now the most common vector-borne disease in Europe and is found all over North America, Australia, China and Japan.
You don’t have to travel to contract the disease; experts reckon there are at least 50-100 cases in Ireland each year. Unlike many infectious illnesses, Lyme disease does not have to be reported by doctors here or in England or Wales, hence the uncertainty about exact numbers.
The ticks responsible are generally hard-bodied ticks called Ixodidae. Ticks are tiny, spider-like creatures, which are commonly found in woodland, moorland and other grassy areas. They feed by biting and attaching to the skin and sucking blood, normally from animals such as sheep and deer. If ticks feed on an animal infected with B. burgdorferi they will also become infected, and can pass on the bacteria to people and domestic animals. Unlike humans and domestic animals, infected wild animals do not seem to show symptoms of Lyme disease. The proportion of ticks infected with B. burgdorferi varies depending on the region; in Europe it is only a small minority (10-15 per cent) of ticks.
In general, the longer the tick has been attached to the skin, the greater the risk of passing on infection. It needs to be attached and feeding for up to 24 hours before transmission of the bacterium takes place. Exposed parts of the skin are most likely to receive bites. Women tend to receive most bites to the legs, while children (especially those under 10) tend to be bitten on the head and neck.
“Only a minority of ticks carry infection. If a tick is removed within a few hours, the risk of infection is low,” says Dr Paul McKeown, of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. “The entire tick, including any mouthparts which might break off, should be removed with a tweezers by gripping it close to the skin. The skin where the tick was found should then be washed with soap and water and the area checked over the next few weeks for swelling or redness. Anyone who develops a rash or other symptoms should visit their GP and explain that they have been bitten by a tick.”
What symptoms should you look out for? The commonest evidence of infection is a rash called erythema migrans seen in about 80-90 per cent of patients. A red, raised skin rash in the shape of a bull’s eye develops between three days and a month after a tick bite and spreads outwards from the initial bite site. This rash can last up to a month and be several inches in diameter.
People can also complain of flu-like symptoms such as headache, sore throat, neck stiffness, fever, muscle aches and fatigue. Occasionally, there may be more serious symptoms involving the nervous system, joints, the heart or other tissues.
Treatment with oral antibiotics for up to three weeks prevents complications in most cases. But for campers and walkers, a daily “tick check” represents the best protection against the disease.
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/health/2010/0727/1224275535938.html (login required)
Ticked off by Danger of Lyme in Ireland
Researchers are hoping to halt the spread of the fastest growing parasite-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere by reducing tick numbers, writes MICHELLE McDONAGH
AS OUTDOOR recreational activities increase during brighter days and longer evenings, so too does the risk of being bitten by a tick and developing a potentially serious disease.
Lyme disease is the fastest growing parasite-transmitted disease in the northern hemisphere and the main period of risk in Ireland is between mid-March and mid-October. However, through taking simple and sensible precautions, you can reduce your risk of contracting the disease to a very low level.
Dr Eoin Healy, a research associate in the Department of Zoology, Ecology and Plant Science at University College Cork, is involved in research into the biochemical drivers of tick behaviour. The goal of this work is to contribute to the development of baiting and trapping methods to reduce tick numbers and, as a consequence, the incidence of Lyme disease in humans.
“In Ireland, Lyme disease is not a notifiable disease and so there are no official data to inform us about its prevalence. However, based on laboratory data in the Cork/Kerry area, it is very likely that several hundred cases a year occur in Ireland. In addition, many more cases may go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed,” he explains.
The risk of coming into contact with ticks is likely to be high in areas where there is a significant number of deer and sheep grazing in rough, non-pasture land, explains Healy. Counties Wicklow, Kerry and Cork are known high-risk areas.
“Only a very small proportion of people who are bitten by ticks develop Lyme disease, but given that thousands of people will be bitten between now and autumn, it’s important to be aware of this risk,” says Healy.
The first indication of Lyme disease is usually a red expanding weal around the site of the tick bite, followed shortly by fatigue and chronic flu-like symptoms in the second phase of the illness.
Healy says: “If untreated, the third phase of Lyme disease is a chronic arthritis in the vast majority of sufferers. This is extremely painful and particularly affects the knee joints.
“The late conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, Herbert von Karajan, spent much of his last months of life in a wheelchair because of severe attacks of Lyme disease.”
However, Healy stresses that as well as being preventable, Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotics. He points out that the risk of being bitten by a tick can be reduced by taking sensible precautions, the most obvious of which is to wear appropriate clothing.
Ticks are more visible and can be easily removed from light-coloured clothing. Wear trousers tucked into socks and long-sleeved shirts to try to prevent direct access to the skin. A general purpose insecticide used on the wrists and ankles can provide a decent degree of protection.
“When in recreational forest parks, stay on the paths and discourage children from straying into knee-high vegetation, heather and long grass that is likely to harbour ticks. Walkers and backpackers may be tempted to lie back on the heather and look at up the sky, but they should be aware that they could pick up a few or even hundreds of ticks if they are in a high tick area.”
Healy stresses the importance of conducting an all-over body examination of the skin within a few hours of spending time in outdoor activities in high-risk areas as the parasites do not begin to release the bacteria Borrelia for about six hours after they start feeding. The tick is flat and dark in appearance and cannot fly.
Remove any tick visible with a tweezers and crush it between a coin and hard surface just to be safe. Dab the site of the bite with antiseptic ointment and make a written note of the date and location where the bite occurred.
“Check the site of the bite daily and if you notice any sign of a red weal widening around the site, consult your GP within the next couple of days,” advises Healy.
“Given that 25 per cent of people do not develop this rash, keep an eye out for other signs of flu-like symptoms. Lyme disease may not be the obvious reason for your symptoms, so if you have been bitten by a tick, you should make that clear to your GP.”
LYME DISEASE: WHAT IS IT?
Lyme disease in humans is caused by infection with bacteria of the genus Borrelia. Infection can happen as a result of a person being bitten by a tick. As a tick sucks blood from its victim, the bacteria enter the bloodstream and may, in certain cases, result in the development of a condition called Lyme disease or borreliosis.
In cases where infection progresses to the disease state, symptoms usually begin with flu-like indications. Inflammation of joints is common and, in untreated cases, severe chronic arthritis may develop.
People who live and work in areas with significant tick numbers and those who visit tick-infested localities for recreational use are at a much higher risk of being bitten.
The risk is highest in children in the under-12 age group as they are more likely to be bare-legged, closer to the ground and in contact with tick-infested vegetation as they run around in woodland. Unless taught and supervised by parents, they will be less likely to rigorously examine themselves for ticks.
Warning on ticks link to Lyme disease
Wednesday June 23 2010
POTENTIALLY debilitating Lyme disease is on the rise in humans after being carried by ticks from the blood of deer and sheep, writes Anne Lucey.
Kerry County Council is asking for a national campaign to raise awareness among GPs and the public, after a number of anecdotal reports of an increase in cases.
Leaflets have also been distributed to visitor centres of the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The HSE South confirmed there had been cases of the “generally mild” but potentially debilitating disease in the Cork and Kerry region.
However as it was not a notifiable disease it was impossible to say with accuracy how many cases there were.
Ticks are usually present in forests, in long grass, in heather and non-pasture land.
Wednesday January 06 2010
Sir, I just finished reading your very informative article ( The Kerryman, December 30) on the deer population in the Killarney area. Besides being a threat to the habitat, deer may also pose a very serious threat to human health.
It is a little known fact that you can contract Lyme disease in Ireland. Deer populations harbour ticks and ticks can carry Lyme disease.
I was infected with Lyme disease by a tick bite I suffered in the Dunquin area of West Kerry, not the Killarney area. Since becoming seriously ill with this disease I have done a little networking on Facebook at ‘Tick Talk Ireland’ and have made contact with several other victims of Lyme disease in Ireland. Some were infected here and some abroad.
You can come into contact with ticks just about anywhere, but your chances are better in wooded areas or in places with high grass and weeds. Ticks need large mammals for hosts, as they feed off their blood, and deer are one such host. Some ticks carry Lyme disease. Ticks are very tiny and they have an anaesthetic in their jaws so you may not even know you have been bitten.
The symptoms of Lyme disease can be very similar to MS, Lupus, or Fibromyaligia. If the disease is caught in its early stage it can be treated effectively with antibiotics. However, if the disease is not diagnosed, as in my own case, recovery (if it happens at all) can take years.
There were about 2,000 known cases of Lyme disease in the UK last year. It is likely then that there are a large number of cases here too but we don’t know how many cases there are because currently Lyme is not a ‘notifiable disease’ here. If it were, then GPs and A&Es would be more alert to it and fewer people would have to suffer the pain and disability of chronic Lyme disease.
Some in our patient advocacy group suspect that the Killarney area is particularly infected. There seems to be a high number of MS cases around Killarney National Park. Chronic Lyme disease is commonly mis-diagnosed as MS.
The deer/Lyme disease connection is rarely discussed in the Irish media. Lyme disease is an increasing risk to human health, especially on the west coast of Ireland, and the HSE seems to be doing little or nothing about it.
Readers are welcome to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Janet Fitzgerald.
Horse and Hound – Thoroughbred horses quarantined in Ireland with tick-borne disease
Abigail Butcher, H&H news editor
9 September, 2009
A number of thoroughbred horses have been quarantined in Ireland following confirmation that it has equine Piroplasmosis.
Movement restrictions have been placed on the stables in County Meath, Ireland, after vets confirmed the horses are suffering from the tick-borne disease.
Equine Piroplasmosis has been notifiable in Ireland since July 2009, and has not been officially reported before now.
The disease is not readily contagious, but id transferred from horse to horse by blood parasites that are carried by a certain type of tick. It causes jaundice and anaemia in affected animals.
Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (DAF) confirmed the outbreak yesterday evening. Epidemiological investigations are underway to establish the origin of the disease and the extent of the spread, if any, to other locations.
A spokesman from DAF said: “A meeting with industry representatives has been arranged to discuss the implications for animal movement and the measures appropriate to address the threat posed by the disease.”
Equine Piroplasmosis is not a notifiable disease in the UK, and is not present in this country.
Horse & Hound vet Karen Coumbe said that although horses that have had the disease occasionally come here to compete, they pose little threat because the ticks that spread equine Piroplasmosis do not live in Britain.
Karen said: “The problem is that once you have a horse that has tested positive to equine Piroplasmosis, it cannot be exported to certain countries — for example America.”
The disease is prevalent in Mediterranean countries, but not the UK, US, Canada or Australia. It is not transferable to humans.
(TV interview with Tick Talk members)
Chair Pauline Reid talks of her struggles on the Morning Show
Pauline from Tick Talk speaks on TV just before our conference in 2012!
Irish Examiner: Irish examiner
Wicklow People: Wicklow People
http://www.geocities.com/canasha2001/lyme.html [link no longer available]
Some snippets of the text in the above link are as follows:
“Lyme bacteria, an oxygen-hating anaerobe, is found in the soil, where ticks pick it up during that part of their lifecycle. In Europe, its primary sources are both fleas, and the sheep tick, but it is possible that mosquitos can also transmit the disease if they have previously bitten a wild animal before biting a human being [tick talk note – studies show that birds & rodents may be carriers too]. There are known cases of Lyme from animal scratches and animal bites as well. It flourishes in areas where there is little ultraviolet sun, and more than normal rainfall. Ultraviolet sun, which ceases above the latitude of Kansas, naturally kills Lyme disease or at least keeps it in check for those affected. This matches the criteria for “hotspots” of Lyme being in the rainiest, northernmost states, as well as their European counterparts of Scotland, England and Ireland. It also matches exactly, the patterns of MS, which any Lyme patient or Neurologist can tell you, matches Lyme to a T. They are one and the same condition, triggered by environment, diet, and lack of sun.”
“Lyme has many names. Among its “symptoms” are ALL of the “ideopathic” (unknown-cause) diseases that plague americans, too many to list here – it affects the body by making sugar turn to lactic acid, which in turn can scar the kidneys over time, irritate the bladder, damage the liver, and upset the pancreas. Lactic acid causes muscle soreness and sensitive intestines/cramping problems (nervous stomach). It causes diabetes, by turning sugar immediately to lactic acid as the bacteria feed upon it. (c6h1206) becomes 2(c3h6o3) and the bacteria borrow oxygen from the blood as a catalyst, further enhancing their environment since they don’t prefer oxygen, and increasing fatigue. This in turn, causes a drop in sugar in the blood, which in turn creates fatigue, muscle soreness, abdominal cramping, sedentary disposition, and can cause depression from the lack of sugar. Difficulty concentrating, etc. Sedentary people are more likely those born fatigued, who have nothing to compare with! By avoiding sugar, white people’s health improves. Taking baking soda daily, and monitoring acidity like they used to do pre 1930 with litmus paper, combats this problem by neutralizing acid levels back to desireable “neutral” state. Other conditions it causes are female problems, birth defects, blindness/deafness/dumbness, autism, “spasticity”, MONO NUCLEOSIS, lactose intolerance, allergies, rashes and dermatitis, spasms/facial ticks/epilepsy, (why are facial ticks, caused by ticks, called ticks???) …heart disease, stroke, cystic fibrosis, migraines, mild neck stiffness/meningitis, circulatory problem (from affecting the tiny muscles controlling the valves in veins, letting blood back flow), TMJ, facial muscle pain and general muscle tension, arthritis, rheumatism, sinusitis, bronchitis and other similar lung conditions, what we used to call TB, muscle soreness, attention deficit, chronic fatigue, nervous disposition, easy clotting of the blood, high cholesterol, numbness of the skin increasing with age, thyroid problems, etc. A person can have one or one hundred of the subset conditions in “known” (fresh) lyme.”
“Lyme also eats proteins, many types. It eats myelin protein, which is known to be going missing in MS patients. The localities for MS hot spots exactly match the pattern of lyme disease, and I believe it is the same disease with a different name. Myelin is what nerves are made of – and damage to myelin, without a meat and potatos diet to replace protein constantly, causes brain troubles (alzheimers, parkinsons, alateral myotrophic scleroses, myocarditis), numbness of the bladder and/or muscle spasms in the elderly mistaken as “incontinence”, nerve troubles, stuttering, etc. Muscle cramp occurring in the heart, is more familiarly known as “heart attack”. It also eats melanin, or pigment protein. This causes freckles in the young, who really were meant to be darker than they are. You are seeing pigment being eaten in the skin. This is why freckles eventually completely go away by adulthood – as we age, more and more bacteria eat more and more protein, till we get to critical stages of health. It is ALSO why we see in Carribean people of afro/scot descent, a condition where the pigment from their skin dissappears from the hands and feet, moving upward over time. Lyme hates oxygen, and desires to reside in the furthest extremities of the body – eg. how diabetics feet are classically affected. Another protein eaten by this Lyme, is melatonin. Melatonin is what causes us to become sleepy, and lack of it causes all types of sleep disorder, whether too much sleep or not enough. Protein is crucial to the european descent person, and differences in elderly damage are most likely related to diet, and secondly, sun exposure or lack thereof. ”
“About 2 years ago, the BBC Online carried a story of an Australian doctor noticing a man contracting diabetes from his diabetic wife, tho he had no familial history of it, and concluded a study that Diabetes was bacterial. Lyme patients are told they have “lyme diabetes”, and I believe its one and the same condition, triggered by sugar intake or lack of. The English Government blackballed this physician, stating “do you know how much prejudice you could cause against diabetics”! So much for ethics and humanitarianism. The BBC also reported the same year, that MS was found to respond to antibiotics. Tho antibiotics merely shut off a person’s fight, and do nothing to cure any bacterial disease, the US didnt see fit to announce this important message on our shores. To date, they never have. MS is Lyme Disease, same condition, different name. Ever hear of the “walks like a snake” adage? More to follow…this is lengthy subject. I have 20+ years studying it to know what I know. Please spread the word to those you love. Elizabeth Baxter’s book also conveys this same message, dedicated to her fellow americans suffering because this knowledge is being hidden from the masses. ;)”
The US travel supplies website Magellan’s has the following information on Ireland.
(Note the section at the end regarding Lyme disease.)
If you like welcoming, friendly, down-to-earth people, deep green landscapes dotted with wildflowers, stone walls and sheep, and the odd pint or dram of an evening, you’ll love Ireland. From the medieval town of Kilkenny to the natural beauty and wildlife of Killarney National Park, from the ancient fortifications and tiny villages of the Ring of Kerry, to the energy, music and literary heritage of Dublin, Ireland has something to suit every traveler.
Language: English is the language generally used, Irish (Gaelic or Gaeilge) spoken mainly in areas located along the western seaboard.
Major International Airports Include:
City Airport Airport Code Distance From City
Dublin Dublin Int’l DUB 6 miles N
Limerick Shannon Int’l SNN 15 miles NW
For more airport information including availability and cost of transportation to and from the city, rental car availability, airport websites, telephone numbers and more, we recommend the Airport Transit Guide.
The preventive measures you need to take while traveling in Western Europe depend on the areas you visit and the length of time you stay. For most areas of this region, you should observe health precautions similar to those that would apply while traveling in the United States.
Travelers’ diarrhea, the number one illness in travelers, can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E.coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.
The CDC recommends the following vaccines as appropriate for age (See your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect):
* Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). You are not at increased risk in Northern, Western, and Southern Europe, including the Mediterranean regions of Italy and Greece.
* Hepatitis B, if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months in Southern Europe, or be exposed through medical treatment.
* As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria.
* Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years who did not complete the series as infants.
All travelers should take the following precautions, no matter the destination:
* Wash hands often with soap and water.
* Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid travel at night if possible and always use seat belts.
* Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
* Don’t eat or drink dairy products unless you know they have been pasteurized.
* Don’t share needles with anyone.
* Eat only thoroughly cooked food or fruits and vegetables you have peeled yourself. Remember: boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.
* Never eat undercooked ground beef and poultry, raw eggs, and unpasteurized dairy products. Raw shellfish is particularly dangerous to persons who have liver disease or compromised immune systems.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
There is a risk of contracting Lyme disease transmitted by ticks in Ireland. Travelers should use topical insect repellent and wear insecticide-treated clothing in heavily wooded, rural areas.
Magellan have a PDF available showing insect and water risks at the following site:
Health Protection Surveillance Centre
25-27 Middle Gardiner St
Dublin 1, Ireland.
Lyme in Ireland FactSheet
Excerpts are below – full report or printable leaflet available in above link:
How do you come in contact with Lyme disease?
Lyme disease has been reported from North America, Europe, Australia, China and Japan. Infected ticks are most likely to be encountered in heathland and lightly forested areas of North America and Northern Europe. Ramblers, campers and those who work in such areas especially if they come into contact with large animals are at greatest risk of being bitten by ticks and of going on to develop disease. Cases of Lyme disease appear in Ireland every year.
What symptoms can it cause?
Many infected people have no symptoms at all. The commonest noticeable evidence of infection is a rash called erythema migrans that is seen in about three-quarters of infected people. *Tick talk note – remember that many Lyme sites indicate that 50% or less of sufferers experience a rash. The rash can be painless or painful but usually not itchy. It can be widespread or contained in small brown pigmentations. It can be in a bull’s eye ring or spread across the body. Check out http://www.canlyme.com/ (symptoms link) for rash pictures * This red, raised skin rash develops between 3 days and a month after a tick bite and spreads outwards from the initial bite site. This rash can last up to a month and be several inches in diameter. People can also complain of ‘flu-like symptoms such as headache, sore throat, neck stiffness, fever, muscle aches and general fatigue. Occasionally, there may be more serious symptoms involving the nervous system, joints, the heart or other tissues.
What complications can result from Lyme disease?
Complications following Lyme disease are not terribly common, and tend to occur less frequently in Europe than in North America. Complications tend to occur quite some time after initial infection and are common in people who did not realise they had been infected or who were not initially treated. Complications can affect different parts of the body including:
* Joints: swelling and pain in large joints (arthritis) which can recur over many years
* Heart: inflammation of heart muscle (myocarditis) with irregularities of heart rhythm
* Eye: conjunctivitis and eye pain.
* Nervous System: numbness and weakness, meningitis/encephalitis and Bell’s palsy (facial paralysis).
How is Lyme disease diagnosed?
Lyme disease is diagnosed by medical history and physical examination. Diagnosis can be difficult if there has been no erythema migrans rash. The infection is confirmed by special blood tests. The tests used, look for antibodies to B. burgdorferi, which are produced by an infected person’s body in response to the infection. Antibodies will take several weeks to develop and may not be present in the early stages of the rash. They will usually be present in the later stages of the infection. More sophisticated tests can be used if the diagnosis is not clear.
How common is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is not a notifiable infectious disease in Ireland [Tick Talk note – it is notifiable now altho’ only lab confirmed cases are neuroborreliosis caseas are being reported]. This means that there is no legal requirement on doctors to report cases to their local Director of Public Health. A number of cases are diagnosed each year, but the true figure is unknown. In the UK, about 300 laboratory-confirmed cases are reported to the Health Protection Agency annually; however, estimates suggest that the true figure could be between 1000 and 2000 cases annually. In the US, there are about 15,000-20,000 cases each year.
Who is at risk for Lyme disease?
Lyme disease can affect anyone but is commonest among ramblers, hill-walkers, hikers, campers and others whose leisure activities or work takes place in heathland or light woodland areas or brings them in contact with certain animals e.g. deer. Summer and autumn is the period when most cases occur.
Is there a treatment for Lyme disease?
Yes, common antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin are effective at clearing the rash and helping to prevent the development of complications. They are generally given for up to three weeks. If complications develop, intravenous antibiotics may need to be used. *Tick Talk’s note – stage 3 Lyme is where the early signs have not been caught or treated. In these cases antibiotics are needed for several months or even years. This is why it is VERY important to be treated as soon as possible*
Gormley – Green Party Leader & TD for Dublin South East
Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Health and Children the statistics in relation to the incidence of Lyme disease here; her views on whether awareness of the fact that this disease can be transmitted to humans via tick bites needs to be increased and that it should be a notifiable disease; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Extract of reply – full report available in above link:
Minister for Health and Children (Ms Harney):
Lyme disease is not a notifiable infectious disease in Ireland [see note above re: notifiable status]. This means that there is no legal requirement on doctors to report cases to their local Director of Public Health, so this makes estimates of incidence difficult. In Ireland, researchers have tried to determine levels of Lyme borreliosis; it has been estimated that there were about 30 human cases per year in the mid-1990s. Data, however, from the National Virus Reference Laboratory which is responsible for undertaking testing for B. burgdorferi has confirmed that there were only 11 positive cases in 2003; these numbers have been steady at that level for the last couple of years. There were, however, more than 1,000 requests for testing for B. burgdorferi in 2003. Over the last several years, the NVRL confirms that virtually all positive cases were associated with travel in the US. It is felt that there is some, unknown degree of underreporting and under diagnosis of this condition. It would, therefore, appear on initial review, that despite confirmed Irish cases of Lyme borelliosis having been principally associated with travel to North America, there is the potential for individuals to be exposed to biting ticks in Ireland. It would seem sensible for this reason, to recommend that simple, straightforward information should be made available that will assist those who may potentially be exposed (whether as a result of occupational or leisure activities) to take necessary precautions. As a response to this in 2004, the Vectorborne Subcommittee of the Scientific Subcommittee of the Health Protection Surveillance Centre’s (HPSC) Scientific Advisory Subcommittee was established. One of its terms of reference was to identify and determine the burden of certain significant vectorborne diseases in Ireland and to make recommendations in relation to the provision of advice and guidance. As part of the initial risk assessment, the available information on Lyme disease was collated and reviewed. As in common with many other countries, estimation of true levels of this condition is rather difficult. What is apparent is that, in Ireland, a number of cases appear every year and a proportion of these are likely to have been acquired in Ireland. A fact sheet on Lyme Disease has been made available on the HPSC’s website to provide members of the General Public and Media with advice on minimising the risk of Lyme Disease (additional incidence information appears here). In addition, part of the work of the Vectorborne Subcommittee in the New Year will be the development of Clinical Guidance on the management of Lyme Disease and raising awareness of this condition among clinicians.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 27th, 2006
Statistics of Lyme in UK & Ireland:
Of 197 people interviewed through Eurolyme
N IRE: Antrim, Belfast, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Londonderry, Down 4 2%
W ROI: Donegal, Connaught, Roscommon, Galway, Sligo 1 1%
SW ROI: Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Cork, Tipperary, Waterford 6 3%
E ROI: Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Dublin, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly 5 3%
Overall Stats UK & Ireland
North Ireland 2%
(This adds up to more than 100% – possibly due to some being bitten in more than one region)
To view Tick Talk’s surveys including results go to: