In scenes set to air next week, Joseph, played by William Flanagan, will be rushed to hospital after collapsing at home, where doctors will tell his parents that he has contracted Lyme disease, which he likely picked up from a tick bite while on a camping holiday. The plotline comes after weeks of worry over the youngster’s health which even saw his stepmum Gemma, played by Dolly-Rose Campbell, accused of deliberately poisoning her stepson.

An adult deer tick (most cases of Lyme are caused by nymphal rather than adult ticks)

The bacteria Borrelia, which is carried by ticks in the genus Ixodes, is the cause of Lyme disease, commonly referred to as Lyme borreliosis.The most typical indicator of infection is an enlarging red rash at the site of the tick bite, called erythema migrans (EM), that develops a week or so later. Most of the time, the rash is neither painful nor itchy.Rashes appear on about 70–80% of affected individuals.

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