A consultant in infectious diseases says he believes a lot of infections around Lyme disease are being missed.
The disease is spread through the bite of an infected tick to a person.
It can affect anyone but is most common among those who spend time in grassy or heavily wooded areas - or are in contact with certain animals, like deer and sheep.
Most cases occur in the summer and autumn.
Professor Jack Lambert says between 5% to 15% of ticks in Ireland are carrying the disease.
But he told Lunchtime Live there is a big gap in real data.
"Lyme is a bacteria, so it's an infectious disease.
"It's poorly understood in Ireland, poorly recognised in Ireland and I think there's a long way to go in us addressing the issues of Lyme disease."
He says a lot of people may not know they have it.
"It's not reportable, so it only gets reported if you end up in the hospital with a spinal tap - so that's the tip of the iceberg.
"Very few people end up getting that sick.
"There's probably a lot of people [who] get tick bites and don't know they get tick bites.
"Not everybody gets a rash; there's a classic bullseye rash, but only half the people get the bullseye rash.
"And then the antibody test - there's no PCR test for Lyme disease - so you're dependent on antibody tests.
"But not 100% of people develop an antibody test".
Prof Lambert explains why the disease is often misdiagnosed.
"So here you have somebody - that doesn't remember a tick bite, doesn't remember the rash, has a negative antibody test - has all the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease.
"But then if they go and see a rheumatologist they're diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, they've got chronic fatigue syndrome, they've got fibromialgia... there's a lot of infections out there that are being missed.
"So that really is the challenge".
'As many as 2,500 cases a year'
But he says a lack of studies and data on the disease is a problem.
"In America about seven or eight years ago, they said there was about 30,000 cases in the whole country.
"And then a few years ago, one of the Senators died of a tick-borne infection - her name was Kay Hagen.
"Then the [US] Congress appointed $10m to each of the states to keep track of the statistics.
"So all of a sudden it magically jumped from 30,000 cases, now they're saying 500,000 cases.
"Similarly in Ireland, people say there's 10 or 20 cases reported a year - people have calculated there may be as many as 2,500 cases a year.
"But we don't know because we don't collect the data".