tickborne diseases

tickborne diseases

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.


People can be exposed to the bacteria Francisella tularensis that cause tularemia in a number of ways, and symptoms of the disease vary depending upon the method of exposure.

Lyme Disease

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.


Ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by an infection with Ehrlichia bacteria. The bacteria are transmitted by the bite of a lone star tick, and may also be transmitted through blood transfusions.


Babesiosis in Vermont is caused by an infection with a parasite called Babesia microti. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, the same tick that transmits Lyme disease and anaplasmosis.


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