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His symptoms started within six weeks of being bitten. Speaking to the Ten Network, leading tick expert and immunologist Dr Mualla McManus recalls how her husband’s health started to decline after a tick bite whilst filming an episode of Home and Away in 2007.

“At that time people were not aware of anything to do with tick borne diseases so each doctor we’d go to they’d say there’s nothing wrong with you,”

“Then he showed really bad neurological symptoms and they tried to diagnose him with Motor Neuron Disease and multiple sclerosis but they didn’t know which one it was and they were all confused.

Within three years from that bite, Karl McManus was dead, aged just 43.

The Karl McManus Foundation was subsequently set up by Dr McManus, with the aim to help spread awareness of the dangers of ticks. With spring just beginning, Australia is heading back into peak tick season.

Every year 10,000 pet dogs and cats need veterinary treatment for ticks and more than 500 die.

“(Karl’s) death was totally avoidable because if his symptoms were recognised really early and he got antibiotics he wouldn’t have got chronic symptoms,” Dr McManus said.

“When a tick bites you it releases an anaesthetic and you won’t feel the tick biting.

“That’s why people can have ticks on them for three days not knowing it and then they scratch it, there’s a big bubble there and they go “what the hell is this?” and then they realise it was a tick and they pull it out.

“That’s the worst thing you can do because you have got to remove it properly.

“The tick has a nose and what it does is release things that stop your blood from clotting, sucks your blood and releases its gut contents into your body.”

There are of course preventative measures you can take if you live in an area prone to ticks, Contact us at TickSafe to get a free quote on our Ticks & Mosquitos treatment for your property.

In the meantime, if you do get a tick bite, be sure to remove it properly! Watch our video below on our to safely remove a tick from a leading expert.