BBC News:– An infectious disease that can harm the brain and is spread to people by tick bites has been identified in ticks in the UK for the first time.
Public Health England (PHE) says it has confirmed cases of tick-borne encephalitis virus in ticks from two parts of England – Thetford Forest and an area on the Hampshire-Dorset border.
PHE says the risk to people is still “very low”.
It is monitoring the situation to check how common the infected ticks may be.
A tick is a tiny, spider-like creature that lives in undergrowth and on animals, including deer and dogs.
People who spend time walking in countryside areas where infected ticks can be found are at risk of being bitten and catching diseases they carry.
Tick-borne encephalitis virus is already circulating in mainland Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Asia.
Evidence now shows it has reached the UK.
How it got here is less clear. Experts say infected ticks may have hitched a ride on migratory birds.
Earlier this year, a European visitor, who has since recovered, became ill after being bitten by a tick while in the New Forest area, Public Health England says.
Read more at: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-50206382