The Regional Municipality Of York

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Fall active surveillance finds new blacklegged tick

Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York has completed its active tick surveillance program for the year and confirms one blacklegged tick has been found in the vicinity of Joker’s Hill, located in the Township of King.

"Ticks found through our fall surveillance program have been sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg to determine if it carries the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria that can cause Lyme disease,” said Dr. Karim Kurji, York Region’s Medical Officer of Health. “York Region Public Health reminds residents and their families to take the appropriate precautions to protect themselves as ticks can be active during colder months when temperatures are above freezing and there is no snow.”

Locations where blacklegged ticks have been found through active tick surveillance in 2017:

  • North Tract - York Regional Forest, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville (spring and fall)
  • Joker’s Hill, Township of King (spring and fall)
  • Boyd Conservation Area, City of Vaughan (fall)
  • Kortright Conservation Area, City of Vaughan (fall)

Finding blacklegged ticks in the spring and the fall in the same year would indicate they are becoming established and there is a greater risk of encountering a blacklegged tick in this area. As tick populations are expanding, it is possible that blacklegged ticks could be present outside the areas identified by York Region Public Health.

York Region Public Health will continue to conduct passive tick surveillance year round and active tick surveillance during the spring and fall. Passive tick surveillance relies on residents submitting ticks to their local health unit, who send the ticks for identification and testing. Active tick surveillance involves dragging a cloth through brushy, wooded areas to assess the establishment of blacklegged tick populations in the community.

For more information on ticks and Lyme disease, visit or contact York Region Health Connection at 1-800-361-5653; TTY 1-866-512-6228.

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents, 51,000 businesses and 600,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

Media Contact:   

Ben Mulholland, Community and Health Services, The Regional Municipality of York

905-890-4444 or 1-877-464-9675,

After-hours: 905-806-1216,

Fall active surveillance finds new blacklegged tick The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release