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Tick Testing & Prevention

Information from the Vermont Department of Health.

The number of reported tickborne disease cases in Vermont has been steadily increasing over the past years. In 2008, there were fewer than 300 cases reported, but by 2018, the number had risen to over 1,400, with the trend continuing upward. The Okemo Valley, being in a high-risk area in Vermont, is particularly susceptible to these diseases.

"How do I avoid tick bites this Summer and Fall?"

1. Avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass and leaf litter. Stay on clear paths and in the middle of trails.
2. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts to minimize skin exposure. Shop Tygart's Base Layers Here!
3. Opt for light-colored clothing to easily spot ticks.
4. Use effective tick repellents on both your skin and clothing.
5. Consult your veterinarian for tick prevention products for your pets.
6. After spending time outdoors, check your skin, clothing, gear, pets, and children for ticks.
7. Shower within a few hours of being outside.
8. Put your clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill any ticks.

"I removed a tick from myself. Should I get it tested?" The general consensus from the Health Department and the CDC is NO. Here's why...

1. Testing could delay treatment as results may take weeks.
2. There might have been multiple tick bites, even if only one tick was found. If the tick you test produces a negative result, that may provide you with false security.
3. Even if a tick tests positive, it may not have transmitted the infection to you. 
4. Tick tests can have false-positive or false-negative results.

Instead of testing the tick, monitor your health for the next 30 days after a tick bite for symptoms such as fever, rash, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. If you do get sick, contact your healthcare provider and inform them about the tick bite.

Interested in learning more about tick prevention, diseases, and removal? Visit HEALTHVERMONT.GOV


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