Lyme disease surveillance in Canada: Annual edition 2021 (infographic)

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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 2021

  • 3,147 cases of Lyme disease were reported, of which, 82.5% were confirmed cases and 17.5% probable cases
  • 56% cases were males
  • 44% cases were females

Geographic distribution of reported cases

  • Cases reported by Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island were travel−related only. 1% of reported cases were likely infected during travel in the USA or Europe.
The distribution of reported Lyme disease cases in Canada
Province Number of reported Lyme disease cases
British Columbia 19
Alberta 16
Saskatchewan 2
Manitoba 42
Ontario 1,704
Quebec 709
New Brunswick 52
Nova Scotia 595
Prince Edward Island 7
Newfoundland & Labrador 1
Yukon 0
Northwest Territories 0
Nunavut 0


  • 36% 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

Related links

Lyme disease surveillance in Canada: Annual edition 2021

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