Government of New Brunswick


Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases are infections caused by viruses, parasites and bacteria that can be spread through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis).

Lyme disease is an illness caused by a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi).  Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.  If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.  Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks.  Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods.  Most cases of Lyme disease are treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

Other rare tick-borne diseases that can also be spread by the bite of infected black-legged ticks include anaplasmosis and babesiosis.  Anaplasmosis is caused by a bacteria (Anaplasma phagocytophilum).  Symptoms are typically severe and usually occur 1-2 weeks after a tick bite.  Symptoms include fatigue, fever, and non-specific flu like symptoms (headache, chills, and muscle aches).  Anaplasmosis can be treated with antibiotics.  Babesiosis is caused by a parasite (Babesia).  Symptoms usually occur 1 to six weeks after a tick bite, and include fatigue, fever, and non-specific flu-like symptoms (headache, chills, and muscle aches).  Babesiosis can be diagnosed with a blood test and treated with the appropriate medical care.   

It is important to be active and play outside.  Be Tick Smart: Protect yourself against tick bites, check for ticks after coming indoors, remove ticks safely, and act if you have symptoms of tick-borne diseases.