The unnamed illness causes headaches, muscle pains, tiredness and recurring fevers, similar symptoms to Lyme disease, another tick-carried disease.
Researchers at the Public Health Lab in Wiltshire have found a number of ticks across southern England carrying the bacteria Borrelia miyamotoi, which spreads the disease.
While the disease is not thought to have spread to anyone in Britain, it has already affected dozens of people in the United States.
Scientists and health campaigners are worried by the lack of effect antibiotics have on the disease – as well as the confusing similarities it has with other illnesses.
Stella Huyshe-Shires, of Lyme Disease Action, said: “We know this new disease, caused by the recently identified bacteria Borrelia miyamotoi, is in the UK. To date it has only been found in a handful of ticks, but it will
“It causes similar symptoms to Lyme disease, and that will add to the confusion and complexity of diagnosing these various illnesses.
“The difficulty about this bacterium is that it causes a relapsing fever so can be misdiagnosed as flu, or other viral infections, and early treatment with antibiotics not given.
“Patients who were not diagnosed and not treated appropriately run the risk of more serious consequences, as can happen with Lyme disease.”
Scientists discovered the bacteria in Japan 20 years ago but had not realised that it could carry diseases until recently.
Its discovery comes at a time when Lyme disease is growing in the UK, with thousands of new cases reported each year.
Unlike the new disease, the first symptom of Lyme disease is a red rash that spreads outwards from a tick’s bite mark.
If not detected and treated early on, debilitating long-term symptoms can develop.
READ MORE: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/614451/Disease-ticks-discovered-unaffected-antibiotics