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Lyme Disease

Be Tick Aware

Populations of ticks carrying Borrelia - responsible for causing Lyme Disease - are distributed widely throughout the UK. Late spring, early summer and autumn are peak feeding times for ticks but there is a risk from them all year round.

Wilson And Smith Lyme Disease Figure 5 C 
Infected ticks are responsible for causing Lyme Disease in humans . Picture credit: Ted Wilson 


Since it was first described at Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975, incidences have risen dramatically, with more than 100,000 cases now being reported world-wide each year. Although Lyme disease is relatively uncommon in the UK, the number of cases is increasing steadily and has quadrupled in 12 years. People working in or visiting woodland are at-risk of being infected. 



Wilson And Smith Lyme Disease Figure 6 Erythema Migrans C
Picture credit: US Center of Disease Control





The picture on the right shows a target shaped rash - Erythema migrans - on the arm of a patient with Lyme disease. The shape and size of the rash varies with bite location, but it may not be present in all cases. Anyone with such a rash should seek medical advice. Left untreated, Lyme Disease can cause long term and serious health problems.


Find out more

Our factsheet aims to raise awareness and outlines best practice for minimising the risk of infection and for recognising Lyme Disease.

We have also made available an article Watch out, ticks about! that first appeared in our QuarterlyJournal of Forestry (QJF) in July 2015. It was written by Stella Huyshe-Shires, Chairman of Lyme Disease Action, a UK charity, and is reproduced with her permission.

This presentation on tick habitats is available as a free download for use in schools, colleges and other training settings.