Zoonoses are diseases that can pass between animals and people. They’re relatively rare in this country. Rabies is probably the best known. Other examples include salmonella, ringworm, e-coli, Weil’s disease, orf, and Lyme’s disease.
Lyme’s disease is the most common zoonose in the UK, according to government figures, but still rare- about a thousand cases being reported each year. It’s passed on by tick bites, and ticks are common in the New Forest. If you get bitten by a tick, you should keep an eye on the area of skin around the bite, as one of the most common signs of infection is a pink or red circular rash that develops around the bite some days afterwards. The rash is often described as looking like a bull’s-eye on a dart board.
The Health Protection Agency monitors reports of zoonoses, and produces annual reports about the numbers of cases.