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Lyme disease mum issues warning as ‘UK cases soar’

Infection: Kate Allen got tick bite

A MUM who contracted Lyme disease has shared a photo of her symptoms to warn others — as a new study shows cases in the UK are rising rapidly.

Kate Allen swiftly sought treatment for the infection — which can cause years of ill health if left unchecked — after looking up the tell-tale ‘bulls-eye’ rash that appeared on her legs.

Tell-tale signs: Mum’s bulls-eye rash PICTURES: SWNS

She was found to have a mild form of the disease as a result of a tick bite while walking her dog in long grass in 30C heat. The mum-of-three from Leicester said antibiotics are no guarantee the infection will be stopped — but added she was ‘so, so glad’ she got help.

‘I almost didn’t go to the doctors as it wasn’t painful,’ the 28-year-old said. ‘The symptoms began when I started to feel very tired. I had a temperature and was more forgetful than usual.’

The new study of 8.4million GP records shows cases of Lyme disease in the UK may be three times more common than thought.

The total number of ‘clinically diagnosed’, ‘suspected’ and ‘possible’ infections treated rose sharply from 2001 to 2012 to reach 7,738, researchers report in journal BMJ Open.

If the increase has continued at a similar rate there could be more than 8,000 cases this year, found authors including Dr Victoria Cairns, from Oxford, who said the disease is known as ‘the great imitator’ because it mimics other symptoms. ‘GPs certainly know about it,’ she added. ‘The issue is for the public to know so that they go to the GP to get diagnosed.’