Lyme Disease Prevention




Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that features a skin rash, swollen joints and flu-like symptoms. You can get lyme disease from the bite of an infected tick.

Vermont has experienced a significant increase in Lyme disease cases in recent years. The number of confirmed and probable human cases reported to the Vermont Department of Health climbed from 105 cases in 2006 to 623 cases in 2011. Overall, the 2011 incidence rate for confirmed cases was 76 per 100,000 people.

In 2010, Vermont had the fifth highest incidence rate in the country. Be sure to review the Vermont State Health Department page about Lyme and other Tickborne Diseases.

The Vermont Department of Health also published an excellent booklet called Be Tick Smart.


Know the Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Early symptoms of Lyme disease typically appear within 3 to 30 days after a tick bite. Symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • Fatigue
  • Chills and fever
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes near the bite
  • A circular skin rash, often called a "bullseye" (erythema migrans). Not all early cases present with a rash. It is rarely itchy or painful.


Preventing Lyme Disease and Other Tick and Insect-borne Diseases

Prevent ticks, mosquitos and other insects from having contact with your skin.

  • Wear light-colored clothing in the field so you can see ticks and remove them.
  • Avoid shrubbery and stay on widest part of any path.
  • Apply insect repellent to outer clothing (vs directly on skin).
  • Wear clothes made of tightly woven materials and tuck pants into boots.
  • Tie back hair and wear a hat.

  • Visit the CDC website to see how to properly remove a tick.

    For more information about Ticks in Vermont, see the Vermont Health Dept website.

    Vermont Public Radio also had an interesting show about lyme disease with the latest information. Download and listen to the show here.

    Questions or for more information, contact Safety staff at safety@uvm.edu