People in the Netherlands are 2.5 times more likely to develop Lymes Disease after being bitten by a tick than other Europeans, according to preliminary research by Wageningen University.
The researchers said they do not know why the disease is so prevalent here. Usually around 25% of ticks carry the bacteria which can lead to Lymes but the figure is up to 50% in some places. The European average is 10%.
The number of people developing Lymes has risen from 6,000 in 1994 to 17,000 in 2005. Walkers and gardeners are the main victims. The disease can lead to arthritis and nerve damage if not treated in time.
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