High-risk groups

Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease transmitted to man through the bite of a tick infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi.

People regularly in contact with nature

Lyme disease can affect anybody.

However, certain people in regular contact with nature due to their work or leisure activities are more exposed to the risk of being bitten by a tick:

  • forestry workers
  • walkers
  • landscape workers
  • farmers
  • etc.

Occupational disease

Lyme disease is recognised as an occupational disease (only in French and Dutch) in Belgium.

If a worker has been exposed to a tick bite during his/her work, he/she may submit a medical file requesting compensation.

4 reasons for not being alarmed

  • Not every bite is infectious (in Belgium only about 10% of ticks are infected).
  • An infected tick does not necessarily transmit the bacteria.
  • An infected person does not necessarily develop the disease.
  • Lyme disease can be treated effectively with antibiotics if it is diagnosed in time.


Sciensano ensures epidemiological surveillance of Lyme disease through a monitoring network of laboratories and general practitionersand a National Reference Centre  for Borrelia burgdorferi. 

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