Horsham area mum’s tick bite warning as toddler diagnosed with Lyme disease
A Horsham area mum is urging people to be aware of the dangers of tick bites after her toddler caught Lyme disease.
Lauren Anderson, of Broadbridge Heath, said her 22-month-old daughter Imogen was diagnosed with the illness after she was bitten twice by ticks.
The RSPCA worker, 35, said Imogen had a bull’s eye rash on her chest – which can be an early symptom of the disease – before developing a swollen knee.
Lauren added: “It just didn’t go down. You could tell she was in pain. She was waking up in the middle of the night and saying ‘ow, ow’.”
Imogen tested positive for Lyme disease at East Surrey Hospital and was prescribed a month’s worth of antibiotics, Lauren said.
She added: “It was quite a lot for a 21-month-old. I’m unbelievably proud of how well she’s handled being poked and prodded. She’s been such a trooper.”
Imogen has now been given the all clear and shouldn’t have any long term problems, Lauren said.
She added: “We’re confident that she’s going to be okay but there’s always the worry that she might not be.”
But Lauren is now urging others to be more aware of the dangers of tick bites.
She added: “We’re quite an outdoorsy family. I didn’t really know anything about Lyme disease.
“I didn’t know what a tick was.
“Parents should know that between May and August it’s tick season.
“We didn’t know that. We would have definitely used insect repellant on her but we didn’t know.”
Lauren warned that Lyme disease can have long term consequences for some people.
A few people who are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease continue to have symptoms, like tiredness, aches and loss of energy, that can last for years, the NHS said. These symptoms are often compared to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.