Well-known Coronation Street character Joseph Brown, who is played by 11-year-old William Flanagan, is to be diagnosed with Lyme Disease.

The scenes, which will air next week, will show Joseph being rushed to the hospital where doctors will tell his worried parents and grandparents that he has the illness.

This follows on from a long-running plotline which has so far seen the boy's stepmother Gemma, played by Dolly-Rose Campbell, removed from the house by social services under suspicion of deliberately poisoning her stepson.

The ITV soap opera worked with Lyme Disease UK to write the scripts and consulted closely when it came to issues regarding symptoms and treatments.

Coronation Street writers work closely with Lyme Disease charity for new plotline

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.”

What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?

There are a number of symptoms related to Lyme Disease with one of the most well-known of these being an Erythema Migrans rash.

This is a circular expanding rash that can appear between three days and three months after an infected tick bite.

However, around 30% of those with the condition do not produce a rash.

Other symptoms 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 in children.