Pharmacy First: Recognition of tick bites and the symptoms of Lyme disease

As we move into Spring, pharmacy teams may start to see people presenting with tick bites and potentially symptoms of Lyme disease.

While tick bites/Lyme disease is not treatable under the Pharmacy First clinical pathway for infected insect bites, with patients needing to be signposted onwards, patients may present with a tick bite with an erythema migrans (EM) rash – also known as a bullseye rash. Therefore understanding more about the signs and symptoms should help pharmacy teams recognise the symptoms and allow them to signpost patients as appropriate.

Lyme Disease UK is holding their annual Wake Up To Lyme monthly campaign in May to raise awareness of the importance of tick bite prevention and what to do if bitten by a tick.

There is also a Wear Lime for Lyme Day on Friday 3rd May. The organisation is encouraging pharmacy teams to get involved by increasing their and their patients’ awareness of Lyme disease; there are also other ideas on the Lyme Disease UK website on how to get involved.

Lyme Disease UK has lots of information on their website including:

The Royal College of General Practitioners website also has a Lyme Disease e-learning toolkit which is available for other healthcare professionals to access (please note, you will need to register on the website to be able to access the e-learning).

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