Lyme disease hotspots in England – places with the highest number of cases

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The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reported the total number of confirmed Lyme disease cases in the first quarter of 2023 was higher than in the same time period in 2022.

Yet, there is “likely an underestimate of the true burden of acute Lyme disease”.

Cases of Lyme disease “continue to peak during the summer months”, but data based on the first quarter of 2023 show where the most infections have been happening.

The region where most Lyme cases were identified was in the South East, followed by London and then the South West.

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Laboratory confirmed acute cases of Lyme disease in England by region:

  • South East – 23
  • London – 18
  • South West – 16
  • North West – 12
  • Yorkshire and Humber – 4
  • North East – 4
  • West Midlands – 3
  • East of England – 2
  • East Midlands – 1

People are urged by the UKHSA to be “tick aware” as they enjoy the outdoors in warmer weather.

Ticks, which may be carrying Lyme disease, can be found in grassy and wooded areas, which means those who hike, cycle or camp are more at risk of infection.

The most protective measures include wearing clothing that covers the skin, such as light-coloured trousers, and using insect repellent such as DEET.

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“After spending time outside, check yourself, your clothing, your pets and others for ticks,” the UKHSA stated.

“Remove any attached tick as soon as you find it using a tick-removal tool or fine-tipped tweezers.”

If you have been bitten by an infected tick, you might notice a “spreading, bulls-eye rash at the site of the tick bite”.

Such a rash typically develops between three to 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick.

Other indications of Lyme disease can include “flu-like” symptoms, a facial droop, nerve pain, and numbness and tingling in the hands or feet.

“Rapid recognition of symptoms can ensure that you receive the earliest diagnosis and treatment from your GP,” the UKHSA added.

The NHS says: “If a GP thinks you might have Lyme disease, they’ll prescribe a course of antibiotics.

“The antibiotics you’re given will depend on your symptoms, but you may need to take them for up to 28 days.”

It may take months for a person with Lyme disease to feel back to their normal self.

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