Coronation Street teams up with Lyme Disease UK for Joseph Brown storyline

Joseph Brown will be diagnosed with Lyme Disease, but will make a good recovery. Credit: ITV/ Coronation Street

One of Coronation Street’s youngest characters will be diagnosed with Lyme Disease in the show after he collapses at home.

Joseph Brown, played by William Flanagan, will be rushed to hospital where doctors tell his family that he has the illness, probably contracted from a tick bite while camping.

Step-mum Gemma and father Chesney, played by Sam Aston, are relieved to discover the disease is treatable and Joseph will make a good recovery.

The popular ITV soap has worked closely with the charity Lyme Disease UK, which offers patients support and advice, who have been consulted on scripts regarding symptoms and treatment.

The most well-known symptom of Lyme disease is an Erythema Migrans rash, which is a circular expanding rash that can appear between three days and three months after a bite.

The youngster is diagnosed with Lyme Disease in the soap. Credit: ITV/ Coronation Street

However, approximately 30% of people who contract Lyme disease do not produce a rash and other symptoms can include fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headaches, fever and chills, neck stiffness, nausea and digestive issues, while facial palsy, when one side of the face drops, can also occur, especially with children.

Julia Knight, a retired specialist practitioner paediatric nurse, who volunteers with Lyme Disease UK, said: “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 airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8pm on ITV1 and streams on ITVX.

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