There are around 900 reported cases of Lyme disease in the UK each year, although estimates suggest there may actually be 2000–3000 cases.
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the corkscrew-shaped bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi that is transmitted by the bite of a tick. The ticks feed on birds and mammals that carry the bacterium in their blood and then transmit the bacterium to a human when they bite and feed. The tick needs to be attached to a person for about 24hours before the disease can be transmitted.
Those at particular risk from the disease include sheep farmers, deer farmers and veterinary surgeons but geotechnical and geo-environmental engineers may be at risk when working in the field in high risk locations.