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Lyme Disease

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

Lyme Disease - Be tick aware

Populations of ticks carrying Borrelia - responsible for causing Lyme Disease in humans - are distributed widely throughout the UK. Late spring, early summer and autumn are peak feeding times for ticks. A lower level of feeding activity takes place in other seasons. Therefore, the risk to humans is potentially year-round.

Since it was first described at Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975, incidence has 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
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. Picture credit: US Center of Disease Control

Left untreated Lyme Disease can cause long term and serious health problems.

Our updated factsheet is available to download, right, and 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.

And we have included a short presentation on tick habitats.

 

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