About Time for Lyme is a UK-based charity raising awareness of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
Why it matters
Recent rises in tick numbers across the world (largely as a result of the effects of global warming) are resulting in a dramatic increase in cases of tick-borne diseases, including Lyme disease. However, despite the rapidly increasing risk of contracting a tick-borne disease in the UK, awareness of the problem remains relatively poor. About Time for Lyme was set up with the aim of changing that.
If diagnosed early, Lyme disease is relatively straightforward to treat and a full recovery can be made. However, if it is missed, patients can develop seriously debilitating chronic symptoms and the consequences can even be fatal. Unfortunately, unreliable blood testing methods along with insufficient awareness of the disease, both among the general public and medical professionals, are resulting in an alarming amount of cases being missed or misdiagnosed.
Whilst further research is desperately needed into diagnosis and treatment, we strongly believe that improving awareness, with the aim of encouraging prevention and early diagnosis of the disease, is absolutely crucial. We want to ensure that everyone is aware of the simple precautions they can take to help protect themselves against tick bites, what to do if they are bitten, and what the potential early warning signs of the disease might be.
Through developing educational materials, holding awareness events, campaigning for change at a governmental level, and advocating in the media, we aim to share this simple but crucial information as far and as wide as possible. It is about time everyone was equipped with the basic knowledge of how to protect themselves and their families, whilst still continuing to enjoy the outdoors.
About Time for Lyme is proud to be working closely with Vis-a-Vis Symposiums, a charity which focuses on improving understanding of tick-borne diseases, both among the general public and, particularly, among medical professionals. They do this primarily by holding symposiums which bring together medical and veterinary professionals with the leading global expertise in vector-borne diseases. Together we are working towards better awareness and understanding of the problem at all levels, in order to reduce the incidence of people developing serious health problems from tick-borne diseases.
About Time for Lyme was set up in 2015 to raise awareness of Lyme disease in the UK. It was co-founded by Kellie Maher, Alec Fraser and Elliott Hawkins, who were all inspired to draw attention to the problem following Kellie's personal experience with the disease.
It is crucial for Lyme disease to be identified and adequately treated as quickly as possibly. The About Time for Lyme team are determined to use what they have learnt to help prevent others from enduring years (or even lifetimes) of unnecessary suffering.
All funds raised go towards the development of educational resources and tools to help further awareness and aid in the prevention of Lyme disease.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ticks act as vectors for a range of infectious diseases, including Borrelia - the bacteria which causes Lyme disease. Not all ticks carry Lyme disease, but it only takes one bite from an infected tick to contract the disease.
The blood tests used in the UK to detect Lyme disease can miss up to 50% of cases.
Ticks feed on the blood of animals or humans. Ticks wait at the top of grass, on tree trunks, etc and latch onto a passing animal or human. Deer, cats, dogs, foxes, rodents, birds etc can all act as 'hosts', transporting ticks around.
A nymph tick is the size of a poppy seed or pinhead. It is also the most likely to transmit disease.
Ticks are found across the UK, in urban parks as well as in rural areas.
Tick numbers are on the rise in the UK (global warming means ticks are no longer being killed off by colder winters, allowing a longer period for breeding).
Recent research showed 1/3 of dogs were found to be carrying ticks - twice the amount as in the previous year.
The presence of a bull's-eye rash indicates that a person has definitely contracted the disease, and treatment should be started immediately. However, 50% to 2/3 of people who contract Lyme disease will not develop a bull's-eye rash.
Other tick-borne infections can be transmitted at the time of the bite, however these are rarely tested for in the UK. A compromised immune system can also lead to opportunistic infections. The existence of co-infections can complicate recovery.
Ticks inject a natural anaesthetic when they bite you, meaning you do not feel the bite. This, along with their small size, means that many people will not recall having been bitten.
Lyme disease can often mimic the symptoms of other illnesses, leading to misdiagnosis. It has been called 'The Great Imitator'.