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Lyme disease statistics

The figures on this page are based on the results of a poll on the EuroLyme - Lyme Disease Support Group - see "Polls" - What area of the UK or Eire do you think you were infected with Lyme disease?

Thanks to Gill Reese, EuroLyme - Lyme Disease Support Group founder and moderator for permission to use the data.

The figures have been adjusted from the total of 197 votes (as at 1 Jan 2009) in the poll to equate to the 2,000 cases minimum tacitly acknowledged on the Health Protection Agency web site - see here.

The figures below could be an under-estimate.


 International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) Notice
of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) Lyme Disease Review Panel Hearing

This was webcast directly from the hearings in Washington DC, USA, on 30 Jul 2009.
The presentations used by the presenters are available HERE, as slides / statements
The webcast is now archived HERE as separate presentations
 A synopsis is available on the Eurolyme forum HERE.



Region Votes %

Equivalent proportion of
2,000 cases

SE ENG: London, Gravesend, Reading, Aldershot, Horsham, Brighton, Chelmsford, Hythe 28 14 284
S ENG: IOW, Poole, Portsmouth, Salisbury, Oxford, Chippenham, Abingdon, Basingstoke 24 12 244
SW ENG: Bristol, Bath, Exmoor, Lundy, Newquay, Lands End, Dartmoor, Plymouth, Weymouth 36 18 365
Ctrl ENG: Birmingham, Nottingham, Derby, Milton Keynes, Luton, Lincoln, Sandbach 14 7 142
E ANGLIA: Southend, Clacton, Felixstowe, Norwich, Sleaford, Peterborough, Cambridge, Ipswich 4 2 41
E ENG: Skegness, Grimsby, Hornsea, Scarborough, Northallerton, York, Scunthorpe, Rotherham 6 3 61
NW ENG: Blackpool, Liverpool, Manchester, Chester, Sheffield, Barnsley, Wakefield, Rochdale 10 5 102
N ENG: Lake District, Flookborough, Egremont, Workington, Carlisle, Kendal, Brough, West Yorkshire 13 7 132
NE ENG: Ruswarp, Middlesborough, Durham, Newcastle, Sunderland, Otterburn, Morpeth 7 4 71
SE SCOT: Berwick on Tweed, Eyemouth, Coldingham, Dalkeith, Houndslow, Farne Islands 1 1 10
S SCOT: Glasgow, Motherwell, Renfrew, Dumfries, Annan, Galloway, Girvan, Sanquhar 4 2 41
SW SCOT: Arran, Campbelltown, Kildealloig, Bute, Karnes 1 1 10
W SCOT: Inner Hebrides, Rhum, Glenfinnan, Collinsay, Jura, Inverary, Ballaculish, Gaol 6 3 61
Ctrl SCOT: Aviemore, Kingussie, Alloa, Killearn, Crieff, Aberfeldy, Argyll Forest 5 3 51
E SCOT: Edinburgh, Stirling, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Cupar 6 3 61
NW SCOT: Outer Hebrides, Stornoway, Harris, Lewis, Portree, Isle of Skye 0 0 0
N SCOT: Highlands, Black Isle, Achandulch, Bettyhall, Kinlochbervie, Ardgay, Rechullin 8 4 81
NE SCOT: Orkneys, Dornoch, Thurso, Dounreay, John o' Groats, Wick, Shetlands 0 0 0
IOM: Douglas, Ramsay, Castletown, Ballasalla, Kirk Michael 0 0 0
N WALES: Gwynned, Clwyd, Anglesey, Snowdonia, Montgomery, Wrexham 4 2 41
S WALES: Powys, Dyfed, Glamorgan, Swansea, Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Milford Haven 4 2 41
N IRE: Antrim, Belfast, Armagh, Fermanagh, Tyrone, Londonderry, Down 4 2 41
W ROI: Donegal, Connaught, Roscommon, Galway, Sligo 1 1 10
SW ROI: Clare, Limerick, Kerry, Cork, Tipperary, Waterford 6 3 61
E ROI: Wexford, Kilkenny, Carlow, Wicklow, Dublin, Meath, Westmeath, Offaly 5 3 51
Totals: 197 100 2000

Table showing regions where Lyme disease patients believe they contracted their illness,
adjusted to reflect the government's estimate of there being 2000 cases per year.

NB - the south-west has the highest figures.

As stated above, the figures have been factored in proportion from the number of votes in the poll to equate to the 2,000 cases that the government estimate to occur each year, while admitting this could be an underestimate. Tick-borne diseases are not notifiable in England and Wales so there are no official statistics.

Clearly, a number if criticisms can be aimed at the figures:

However, in the absence of official figures, these are the best available.

The results do not reflect the distribution map for the Sheep Tick (aka Castor Bean Tick, Pasture Tick - Ixodes ricinus) shown here on the NBN - National Biodiversity Network Gateway, which shows a greater concentration of tick records for the neighbouring southern region of England (Region 2 above).

Similar distribution maps for Dermacentor reticulatus (Marsh Tick/Meadow Tick) can be seen here: this tick is recorded less frequently than the others but is recorded mostly in the Plymouth and Torbay areas, according to the interactive map, but not on Dartmoor! 

The map for Rhipicephalus sanguineus (Kennel Tick/Brown Dog Tick) can be seen here.

On the question of representative results on these distribution maps, compare the tick results with the map here, for the common house fly, Musca domestica - according to the records, it is a very rare insect: it occurs only in Bristol, Fishguard, near Stoke-on-Trent and in a 10 km square north of Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland!

Then, compare the results for the crane fly ("Daddy Long Legs", Tipula paludosa), here - its almost everywhere!

I can only imagine that collated data depend on the number of data-recorders around the country and what they have been asked to record and in which 10 km squares, also over what time-scale the recording has been running?

There is probably a lot that is unknown as to the real distribution of ticks in the UK. This is why Tick Watch/Tick Alert undertakings are important - to fill in the gaps.


Accounts of Lyme Disease sufferers are told in their own words here - they describe what it is like to have a tick-borne illness (or mixture of illnesses if the tick carried more than one causal agent) - it can be extremely serious.

LD is often mis-diagnosed - see Lyme disease - Underreported, underdiagnosed and undertreated.



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