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.
Vermont's lakes, rivers and swimming holes are an important part of our recreational landscape. Whether boating, swimming or just splashing around, here are tips to safely enjoy waterways and pools.
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 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.
We're all road users – when we are driving, walking, cycling, passengers in a vehicle, and when using other transport. The Road User Safety program aims to reduce injury and deaths, and make Vermont roads safer for all of us.
Six tick species are known to bite humans in Vermont, and five can transmit diseases. But nearly all tickborne diseases reported to the Health Department are caused by the blacklegged tick.
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.
In Vermont, tickborne illnesses are most often transmitted between early spring and late fall since ticks are most active during warm months. Be Tick Smart - take action against bites to prevent Lyme and other diseases.
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tickborne disease in Vermont. In 2017, Vermont had the highest rate of reported confirmed and probable Lyme disease cases in the U.S.