Mum warns others after nine-year-old catches Lyme disease

Layla Cowie (9) from Portsmouth who contracted Lymes Disease while on a camping holiday in the New Forest, with her mum Natalie Cowie who identified the rare contidion herself by using Google.''Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography (132307-091)
Layla Cowie (9) from Portsmouth who contracted Lymes Disease while on a camping holiday in the New Forest, with her mum Natalie Cowie who identified the rare contidion herself by using Google.''Picture: Steve Reid Blitz Photography (132307-091)

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A Portsmouth mum is warning people who are camping to watch out for Lyme disease.

Natalie Cowie, from Fratton, was shocked to find out her nine-year-old daughter had contracted Lyme disease while they were camping in the New Forest.

Days after they got back, Layla came out in a rash which wouldn’t go away.

Concerned about what it might be, her mum Natalie looked up the symptoms online and saw that it might be Lyme disease.

Natalie, from Fifth Avenue, said: ‘Layla came over with flu type symptoms, so she had a headache and a temperature, and I got worried when I saw the rash.

‘I Googled it and as soon as I thought it might have been Lyme disease, I took her to the doctor. He said that it had been the worst cases he’d seen and was one of the biggest rashes he’d seen while being a doctor.’

The symptoms can take up to three to 30 days to appear but are treated with antibiotics.

Natalie said: ‘Layla is feeling better now but it can be scary when you don’t know what the illness is.

‘When the doctor told me it was the worst rash he had seen, I definitely started to worry.

‘We don’t know how she contracted it but we are just happy that it is now being treated.

‘It should hopefully clear in about three weeks.’

Natalie added that she will now take extra caution when camping.

She said: ‘Parents and families should be warned that children can catch such illnesses during the summer when they’re spending so much time outside. It can be hard to decipher what something is if you’ve never seen it before.’