Five year old boy hospitalized with suspected Lyme disease after being bitten by ticks


A five-year-old girl had to be admitted to the hospital after becoming ill with suspected Lyme disease.

William Bargate was bitten twice in five days by two separate ticks after playing in a park at the Conwy Council on Llwynon Road in Great Orme, Llandudno.

Three days after the first tick bite on Friday, March 22 – which is thought to have been attached to William's head for up to 36 hours – he began to experience flu-like symptoms, including fatigue, muscle pain, head and fever.

His mother Adelle Bargate, 37, took him to see a doctor but says that since he did not have the visible circular eruption associated with the disease, it was believed that he had just contracted a viral infection.

But days later, William was taken to see the doctor a second time after being bitten again.

In addition to not being able to move his neck, he also developed severe and aggravated flu symptoms.

"On the second visit, the doctor recognized the potential infection and gave him 10 days of antibiotics," Bargate said.

"But his symptoms were getting worse and I was really worried, so I took him to A & E in Bangor on Saturday.

"They took him directly to the children's ward where he was immediately sent for blood tests and it was when they said they were treating him as Lyme disease.

The tick removed from William's head

"It's really hard to get a positive Lyme disease test, so as a precaution for your unpleasant symptoms, he's now taking antibiotics for three weeks."

William was discharged from the hospital on Sunday with three weeks of antibiotics. He will need to do more tests later this week to monitor the suspected disease.

Lyme disease is often transmitted to humans by infected ticks – small, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of humans and animals.

They are commonly found in areas of forest and lawn as well as cattle such as sheep and goats – which are regularly seen wandering around the Llwynon road park.

William Bargate developed severe flu symptoms and was unable to move his neck after being bitten twice by ticks

Ms Bargate added, "I have lived in Orme for over 16 years and have never had ticks as a child, it seems to have become a bigger problem in the last two years.

"I do not think I'm being taken seriously enough in the area, I feel like I'm the only one who's making noise about the number of them around here.

"No one seems to be doing anything about it and I'm worried that more kids will get sick because of them.

"Every time my kids play outside, I have to undress them and check them for ticks."

His son's illness comes after Bargate found a tick in his eight-year-old daughter Briony in June last year, which she suspects has been there for about two days.

William Bargate, 5, was hospitalized with suspected Lyme disease after being bitten by two ticks in the Great Orme, Llandudno

It was the second ticking she'd found on her daughter in a week.

At the time, several families also reported having found the tiny bloodsucking insects stuck to their children's skin after playing around the same park on Llwynon Road.

Public Health Wales declined to comment due to patient confidentiality.

Conwy Council was approached to comment.

What are ticks?

Ticks are small, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of humans and animals.

They are commonly found in forested areas and grasslands.

After locking the skin, they begin to feed on the blood.

Its size depends on the stage of its life cycle and has been fed recently.

Tick ​​bites are not necessarily harmful, which often makes it difficult to tell if you've been bitten.

How to Safely Remove Ticks

Removing a tick quickly and correctly can help reduce any potential risk of Lyme disease if you have been bitten.

The safest way to remove a tick is to use a pair of thin-tipped tweezers.

Hold the tick as close to the skin as possible.

Pull up slowly and firmly, as the parts of the mouth left on the skin can cause infection.

Once removed, apply antiseptic to the bite area and be aware of any changes.

Contact your doctor if you start feeling sick.

Those who spend long periods outside should perform tick checks regularly.

Ticks prefer hot and humid places on your body, especially in the groin, waist, armpits, behind the knee and along hair lines.

Young children are most commonly stung on the head / scalp, around the neck, behind the ears and along the hairline.


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