Public Health England said the disease causes 2,000 to 3,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales each year.
Around 15 per cent of cases are acquired while people are abroad.
However the condition is often very difficult to diagnose. This is why many Lyme patients are often misdiagnosed with different conditions such as fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, ME, or even depression.
Early symptoms of Lyme disease often present as a flu-like illness with symptoms including fever and muscle tone.
The most common symptoms of Lyme Disease in adults are:
▪ Flu like symptoms of aching, fever, headache
▪ Joint pain
▪ Light and sound sensitivity
▪ Abnormal skin sensations (tingling, numbness, itching)
▪ Stiff neck
▪ Erythema migraines rash
A report by Public Health England said: “Any people with early – stage Lyme disease develop a distinctive circular rash at the site of the tick bite, usually around three to 30days after being bitten. This is known as erythema migrants.
“The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s eye on a dart board.
“The affected area of skin will be red and the edges may feel slightly raised. The size of the rash can vary, although one in three sufferers do not report seeing a rash.”
More serious symptoms can develop weeks, months or even years later if Lyme disease is left untreated, or is not treated early.
These can include pain and swelling in the joints – inflammatory arthritis, problems affecting the nervous system such as numbness and pain in limbs, paralysis of facial muscles, memory problems and difficulty concentrating.
The disease can also cause heart problems, inflammation of the heart muscle – myocarditis or heart failure.
Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria.
Ticks don’t jump or fly but climb on to your clothes or skin if you brush against something they’re on. People can be bitten by ticks after walking through long grass.
Not all ticks carry lyme disease – so being bitten doesn’t necessarily mean a person will be infected.
However tick bite are very small and their bites aren’t painful, so people might not realise they are attached to skin.
If people experience the symptoms of Lyme disease they are advised to visit their GP.