Fact Sheet

Who: Founded by Jim Wilson in 2003, CanLyme is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating the Canadian public about every aspect of Lyme disease.

What: CanLyme is Canada’s national foundation for Lyme disease education and prevention. We advocate on behalf of and provide support to Lyme disease sufferers. We also provide evidence-based information resources to doctors and patients while striving to advance research.

When: CanLyme’s head office is in West Kelowna, British Columbia.

Why: Jim Wilson founded CanLyme after fighting his own battle against Lyme.

How: CanLyme strives to find a cure for Lyme disease by connecting doctors and researchers, and encouraging collaboration. CanLyme also provides detailed information about tick identification, Lyme disease symptoms and prevention, and access to support groups.

Ticks

  • Lyme disease is caused by a group of spirochaete-type bacteria that include Borrelia burgdorferi, B. bissettii and B. miyamotoi; Borrelia can be transmitted primarily by only a few species of ticks. There are significant populations of Borrelia-carrying ticks in many parts of Canada. 
  • Ticks become infected with the Lyme bacterium by feeding on the blood of infected mice, birds and deer. 
  • In Canada, the tick life-cycle can span up to two years in the natural environment, and are infectious year-round once they become carriers of Borrelia.

Lyme disease

  • Early symptoms of Lyme disease can include: fatigue, fever, headaches and a rash that sometimes has the appearance of a “bull’s-eye”
  • The average time to show symptoms of Lyme disease is 1-2 weeks, but can be as short as a few days or as long as months to years. 
  • Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose from a standard blood test. Most doctors rely on patient symptoms occurring after contact with a tick for a diagnosis.

Diagnosis/Treatment

  • There are over 100 different symptoms of Lyme disease – many that mirror symptoms of serious, debilitating illnesses like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. There is no “cure” for chronic Lyme, but successful antibiotic treatment for early Lyme disease will greatly reduce the chances of progressing to the chronic stage. 
  • It can take anywhere from 4 weeks to several years of treatment to fully eradicate symptoms of Lyme disease.