outdoor safety

outdoor safety

Winter Weather

Along with the cold, snow and ice, winter weather can affect your health. The cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia and can contribute to heart attacks when shoveling snow. Icy conditions can cause slips and falls when walking and crashes while driving. Plus, climate change is causing lake ice to thin, which can result in hypothermia and drowning from falling through the ice. Improper burning of heat sources can cause poor indoor air quality and carbon monoxide poisioning. Be sure to stay safe and warm this winter.

Powassan Virus

Powassan virus disease is a rare but serious illness caused by the bite of an infected tick. Three species of ticks found in Vermont can transmit the virus, but only one of these species  the blacklegged tick  commonly bites humans.

The last reported case of Powassan virus infection in a Vermont resident occurred in 1999. This disease can be difficult to diagnosis and is likely underreported. The Health Department is working with health care providers to test and identify cases of Powassan virus disease in Vermont residents.


Anaplasmosis is a tickborne disease caused the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is spread by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, the same tick that transmits Lyme disease, babesiosis, Borrelia miyamotoi disease and Powassan virus. It is also possible for Anaplasma phagocytophilium to be transmitted through blood transfusions and organ transplants.

Borrelia miyamotoi

Borrelia miyamotoi is a bacterium recently recognized to cause disease in humans. Although it sounds similar to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia miyamotoi is more closely related to the bacteria that causes tickborne relapsing fever.

Cyclists & Pedestrians

People walking, biking and rolling are more vulnerable to injuries and death from vehicles when using our roadways. These injuries and deaths are preventable. Whether you drive a car, walk, or bike, there are ways we can all be safer when using our roadways. Learn more.


Rabid animals show a change in their normal behavior, but you cannot tell whether an animal has rabies simply by looking at it. Enjoy wildlife from a distance, and protect cats and dogs with rabies vaccine.

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus has been has been found in all counties of Vermont and continues to be detected in mosquitoes each year – another reason to take precautions against mosquito bites.


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