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There is a shock in store for Gemma and Chesney Brown next week as they finally get to the bottom of their son Joseph’s mysterious illness when he is diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

After weeks of worry, trips to the doctors and Gemma being removed from the house by social services under suspicion of deliberately poisoning the youngster, things take a dramatic turn when he collapses at home.

He is rushed to hospital where doctors tell his worried parents and grandparents that he has Lyme Disease, probably contracted from a tick bite whilst on a camping holiday. 

They are relieved to discover it is treatable and he will make a good recovery. Coronation Street has been working closely with Lyme Disease UK who have been consulted on scripts regarding symptoms and treatment.

Julia Knight is a retired Specialist Practitioner Paediatric Nurse in Community Nursing, who has experienced Lyme disease herself. She volunteers for the charity Lyme Disease UK as their Press and Community Outreach Manager, giving talks, interviews and writing articles to raise awareness of Lyme disease and how to prevent it.

Julia says “It has been my great pleasure to work with the Coronation Street script writers to give them advice and pointers so that they could produce a storyline that is both realistic and engaging. Lyme disease can easily be overlooked if a person only shows viral-type symptoms initially, as in the storyline...

"Raising awareness of the disease and giving people the information about how to prevent it is essential. With knowledge, bites can be prevented, and awareness of possible symptoms means that people who do contract the disease can seek medical advice promptly."

Coronation Street continues Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8pm on ITV1.

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