Prevalent in Canada
While more common in rural areas, urban areas are also at risk as migratory birds bring the infection to your city. In addition, Lyme can be contracted all year round, even during the winter although less likely. An average deer tick can survive very cold climates and lives for two years. So even though infection rates drop considerably in the winter because people spend less time outdoors, you can still contract Lyme. Risk increases with the prevalence of ticks in the areas where you live or visit, the time spent outdoors, the presence of pets (which can carry ticks indoors), the prevalence of deer, mice or migratory birds in your area and the frequency of outside work done either for recreation or professionally.
Contrary to popular belief, Lyme disease is not rare, it’s just rarely diagnosed. While Canadian data is limited, recent announcements in August 2013 by the U.S. Center for Disease Control are that Lyme disease is about 10 times more common than previously reported. As many as 300,000 Americans are actually diagnosed with Lyme disease each year based upon a survey of seven national laboratories, a national patient survey and a review of insurance information. Since Lyme disease is grossly underreported, the true count is probably even higher, but this is the best estimate thus far. In the last 40 years Lyme disease has reached epidemic proportions and has become one of the fastest spreading infectious diseases in the world.