Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial infection that can be transmitted to humans when they are bitten by an infected Ixodes ricinus tick.
Lyme disease can be contracted anywhere in the UK but is more common in the south of England and the Scottish Highlands. Only a small minority of ticks in the UK are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Being bitten by a tick does not necessarily result in Lyme disease.
Symptoms and differential diagnosis
Lyme disease most commonly presents as a spreading rash around the bite area (erythema migrans). In the UK, about a third of cases do not notice a rash and may present with fever, headache or neurological symptoms.