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Last Updated: Tuesday July 14 2009 04:36 GMT

Boy, 9, bitten by blood-sucking bug

Boy, 9, bitten by blood-sucking bug

Most of the time when you get stung or bitten by a bug, you probably just get a bit of an itch, but for one boy it led to him getting really ill.

Nine-year-old Sam was bitten by a blood-sucking tick that was carrying a bug called Lyme disease, while on holiday in the Lake District in 2006.

It's created loads of health problems for Sam, such as hearing difficulties, and he's spent months in hospital.

Now he has to take medicine every day in his ongoing fight to recovery.

"Sometimes I have to take four [tablets], sometimes I have to take eight a day," he said.

One of the tiny ticks that can carry lyme disease
The ticks are really tiny blood-sucking creatures that usually prefer animals to humans

"I can't think as much as I did and I won't have as much energy. Sometimes it makes me feel a bit sad."

Research shows cases of Lyme disease have gone up slightly, but you can only catch it from ticks, not people.

And experts say you shouldn't be scared of going to the countryside, as there's plenty you can do to cut your chances of getting a tick on you.

Their advice includes wearing long sleeves and tucking your trousers into your boots.

And if you do find a tick on you, try to pick it off really carefully with tweezers, straight away.