Lyme-infected ticks are so common in parts of Canada, testing no longer done


Most public-health offices across the country used to test ticks for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

But some, including Ottawa's, have now decided that Lyme disease is so endemic they won't bother.

That means they just assume if you get bitten by a tick, you should be treated.

In 2016 and 2017 more than one-fifth of black-legged ticks tested in Ottawa came back positive for Lyme, making it a designated at-risk area.

That means if a tick is found on a person, and is believed to have been there for more than 24 hours, then the patient should get antibiotics to prevent Lyme infection.

If left untreated, Lyme disease can cause serious illnesses such as meningitis, but because it is caused by a bacteria, it's treatable with drugs.

In 2017, more than 14-hundred cases were confirmed or probable across the country, more than two-thirds of them in Ontario.