Lyme disease surveillance in Canada: Preliminary Annual Infographic 2018

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Organization: Health Canada

Published: 2021-02-08

What is the risk?

  • Lyme disease is the most frequently reported vector-borne disease in Canada.
  • The greatest risk of acquiring Lyme disease occurs in regions where populations of ticks carrying the bacteria, Borellia burgdorferi, have become established.

Who’s at greater risk?

  • Children aged 5-14 years
  • Adults aged 60-74 years
  • People with occupational and recreational exposures are at greater risk of acquiring Lyme disease

How to manage?

  • Most cases of Lyme disease can be effectively treated with 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotics if diagnosed early.

Facts reported in 2018

Reported in 2018:

  • 1,487 cases of Lyme disease were reported, of which, 71 % were confirmed cases and 29 % probable cases
  • 58 % cases were males
  • 42 % cases were females

Geographic distribution of reported cases

The distribution of reported Lyme disease cases in Canada:
Province Number of reported Lyme disease cases
British Columbia 9
Alberta 15
Saskatchewan 2
Manitoba 54
Ontario 628
Quebec 305
New Brunswick 20
Nova Scotia 451
Prince Edward Island 1
Newfoundland & Labrador 2

Cases reported by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland & Labrador were travel−related only. 8 % of reported cases were likely infected during travel in the USA or Europe.


  • 31 % of cases reported illness onset in July
  • 95 % of the cases occurred from May through November

Public health recommendations: Tips to avoid tick bites

Protecting yourself when doing outdoor activity:

  • cover exposed skin
  • use insect repellent

Reducing risk:

  • do a full-body check for ticks after each outdoor activity
  • remove ticks using clean, fine-tipped tweezers

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