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Love your plot but know the risks - The Telegraph

Medichecks Chief Medical Adviser, Dr Helen Webberley, explains the surge in demand for Lyme Disease tests.

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Gardening is my gym and therapist combined. The price I expect to pay is a few strains, cuts and bruises, but every so often there is a scare when someone dies or gets seriously hurt from a garden-related problem. Being aware of these lurking menaces that could harm you is important.

Five years ago, a friend of mine, Robert, the husband of top garden photographer Marianne Majerus, caught Lyme disease. His GP failed to diagnose it, but Marianne didn’t. She trawled the internet and identified the telltale red bullseye on his lower leg, where a tick had bitten him while he was out walking. The tick was tiny, “the size of a poppy seed”, and you can brush them off without noticing you have been bitten. The ticks live on deer that roam woodland and can be picked up from long grass.

Apart from the bullseye mark, other symptoms are muscle aches, fatigue, lethargy and headaches, very similar to meningitis. In the long term Lyme disease causes chronic neurological, neuropsychiatric, rheumatological and locomotor problems.

Dr Helen Webberley is chief medical advisor for Medichecks (, a company that carries out a huge range of blood tests. She says that recently it has experienced a surge in demand for Lyme disease tests owing to a number of high profile cases. Now I know about Lyme disease, I will no longer be gardening in long grass with bare legs. I will forgo sun-tanned calves and stick to Wellingtons and jeans.

Read full Medichecks article in The Telegraph

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