Risk of tick-borne infections on the rise

Canadians should be prepared for a big increase in the rates of tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease in the coming years, as milder winters make the country more hospitable for the bugs, according to a New Brunswick biologist.

Vett Lloyd, who studies ticks at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick, has seen a 6–8-fold increase in the number of ticks in the province so far this year. And the number of those infected with Lyme disease is inching up; it now stands at around 15%. “Even if the proportion of infected ticks stays the same, there are so many more of them around that you have a higher chance of encountering them,” she says. Read more in CMAJ.