‘Embarrassing Bodies’ science presenter leads the campaign to tackle tick-borne disease in the UK. Dr. James Logan is an internationally renowned entomologist but probably better known as Channel4 Embarrassing Bodies science presenter.
Borreliosis and Associated Diseases Awareness UK (BADA-UK) is a tickborne disease charity run solely by volunteers. The charity runs the only proactive tick-borne disease public education programme in the UK, and is dedicated to the enjoyment of the great outdoors.
This year they have teamed up with Dr. James Logan to front the charity’s annual awareness programme, Tick Bite Prevention Week (TBPW), which runs between 24th and 30th March 2013.
This year the theme of TBPW is ‘Tackling Ticks’ and will focus on promoting awareness about potential tick-borne diseases to visitors of parks and other recreational spaces in certain urban areas, as well as rural environment.
Although ticks are part of the natural environment they are second to mosquitoes in transmitting infectious diseases to humans and animals.
According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA) around 3,000 people contract Lyme disease (Borreliosis) every year in the UK from infected tick bites. Experts say that this number is increasing and another cause for concern is that a recent study has revealed the incidence of Lyme disease in the UK dog population is much higher than previously predicted.
As yet there is no vaccine to prevent Lyme disease which, if left untreated, can result in serious and debilitating health complications in humans. For dogs and horses in particular, tick-borne diseases can prove fatal if not diagnosed and treated properly.
As part of TBPW 2013 the charity is making a national call to all recreational landowners and park authorities to adopt ‘best practice’ strategies that could help to decrease the number of disease cases. The key aim is to encourage the provision of clear guidance for public visitors, so they can take a few simple precautions against tick bites without any effects to their enjoyment of the outdoors.
BADA – UK founder and Chair Wendy Fox says, “Getting outdoors is very important for our physical and mental wellbeing. Parks are rightly considered safe and healthy environments and we want to encourage everyone to actively use them. However, it is important for people to be made aware that ticks may be present and that there are some simple measures you can take to protect yourself and your pets against being bitten.”
Wendy knows better than most people about the potential consequences of an infected tick bite. In 2001 she suffered a brain and spinal cord swelling caused by Lyme disease which ultimately left her paralysed from the waist down and visually impaired.
To help fund and raise awareness BADA-UK is inviting walkers and dog owners to hold a sponsored ‘Walk n Wagathon’ during and beyond TBPW 2013 in aid of the charity.
Details of all TBPW 2013 events and resources can be found