Last year, the overall number of cases reached almost 4,500; 492 of those were observed in children under 17 years old.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks. The most common sign of infection is an expanding area of redness on the skin that appears at the site of the tick bite about a week after it occurred. Approximately 70–80% of infected people develop a rash. Other early symptoms may include fever, headache, and tiredness. If untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations, among others. Months to years later, repeated episodes of joint pain and swelling may occur. Occasionally, people develop shooting pains or tingling in their arms and legs. Despite appropriate treatment, about 10 to 20% of people develop joint pains, memory problems, and tiredness for at least six months.
The most common period for the infection to spread is May-November when the ticks are active. So far, there is no vaccine against this disease, which is why medics strongly recommend protecting one's body with clothes as much as possible before heading for forests or other places inhabited with ticks.