Spatiotemporal trends and socioecological factors associated with Lyme disease in eastern Ontario, Canada from 2010-2017

These researchers analyzed data relating to human Lyme disease cases and passive tick surveillance from four eastern Ontario health units (encompassing the communities of Brockville, Carleton Place, Cornwall, Gananoque, Kingston, Ottawa, Perth and surrounding rural areas) between 2010 and 2017. They found that, with the exception of Ottawa, most Lyme disease infections were acquired in the immediate vicinity of patients' homes. For Ottawa residents, cottages and locations where they engaged in recreational activities, school or work joined home turf as the most popular places to acquire Lyme disease. Researchers also found that locations where higher numbers of Lyme disease cases were recorded correlated to larger numbers of Lyme-infected blacklegged ticks being submitted to health units. Hotspots associated with higher risk included the region stretching from Gananoque to Brockville. Mixed forests and rural settings also equated to higher risk while urbanized environments and neighbourhoods with more "walkable" areas were associated with lower risk.