Matt Dawson needed surgery after contracting Lyme disease in London park



Matt Dawson had to have heart surgery after being bitten by a tick in a London park, the former England rugby captain has revealed.

The 44-year-old developed feverish symptoms after visiting the park early last year and was later diagnosed with Lyme disease, he told the BBC.

Heart failure and meningitis are among conditions the bacterial infection, which is caused by infected ticks, can lead to. If left untreated it can be fatal.

Mr Dawson said: “I’d heard of Lyme disease before. It was something I’d always associated with places abroad, on the continent, in America, wherever there were deer.

Lyme disease: Heart failure and meningitis are among conditions the bacterial infection, which is caused by infected ticks, can lead to. (AFP/Getty Images)

“There’s no way that I would’ve walked through a wood or a forest with my kids and gone back home and thought, ‘right, I’ll just check for some ticks just to make sure everything is fine’. I just wouldn’t have thought of that.”

He added: “It was a really scary time for me and my family. Such a tiny creature caused me to end up needing heart surgery.”

Dawson is now free of the disease, having undergone multiple heart operations and endured 18 months of treatment, the BBC said.

But he said: “I’m still on medication and it’s going to take a lot of time for the heart to fully recover.”

MPs back London lyme disease sufferer in campaign for better awareness

The sportsman is said to have teamed up with The Big Tick Project, which was co-founded by TV presenter Chris Packham, to raise awareness of the dangers of ticks.

According to the NHS, there are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales every year.

It advises that it can be treated effectively if symptoms, which can include a circular rash around the bite, are detected early.



Source : https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/matt-dawson-reveals-he-had-to-have-heart-surgery-after-contracting-lyme-disease-from-tick-bite-in-a3615986.html

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