Lyme disease surveillance in Canada: Preliminary Annual Infographic 2019

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Organization: Health Canada

Published: 2022-01-28

What is Lyme disease?

  • Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick.
  • Early clinical manifestations can present as flu-like symptoms including joint pain and/or bull's eye rash. If untreated, individuals may experience cardiac and neurologic manifestations and arthritis.

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, Borrelia burgdorferi, have become established.

Who's at greater risk?

  • Children aged 5-14 years
  • Adults aged 55-79 years

Facts reported in 2019

Reported in 2019:

  • 2,634 cases of Lyme disease were reported, of which, 72 % were confirmed cases and 28 % probable cases
  • 57 % cases were males
  • 43 % 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 14
Alberta 14
Saskatchewan 1
Manitoba 65
Ontario 1168
Quebec 500
New Brunswick 36
Nova Scotia 830
Prince Edward Island 6
Newfoundland & Labrador 0
Yukon 0
Northwest Territories 0
Nunavut 0

Cases reported by Alberta, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island were travel−related only. 6% of reported cases were likely infected during travel in the USA or Europe.


  • 38 % of cases reported illness onset in July
  • 97 % 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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