People are being urged to be on alert for tick bites, following the diagnosis for the first time in England of a rare illness.

Public Health England (PHE) says the risk to the public is “very low”, but it’s important to be “tick aware” when enjoying green spaces this summer.

Babesiosis is caused by a parasite which infects red blood cells.

A second “probable” case of another rare infection spread by infected ticks has also been diagnosed.

Tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBE) is already circulating in mainland Europe and Scandinavia, as well as Asia. It reached the UK last year.

Dr Katherine Russell of PHE said cases of babesiosis and TBE in England are rare, and the risk of being infected remains “very low”.

“Lyme disease remains the most common

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