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The nonprofit organization advises that the best way to prevent tickborne diseases is to prevent tick bites. At a time when our health care system is challenged by coronavirus disease, tick bite prevention is extremely important.

Symptoms of tickborne diseases may be similar to other illnesses, including COVID-19. One third of Lyme disease patients in Vermont do not have a bulls-eye rash, so viral-like symptoms including fever, headache, and fatigue may confound diagnosis.

According to the Vermont Department of Health, the following steps can help to prevent tick bites:

- Wear clothing treated with Permethrin and use recommended repellents.

- Wear light colored clothing so that it is easier to spot ticks.

- Stay on the center of hiking trails and use a blanket or tarp to avoid sitting directly on the ground when resting or picnicking.

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- Conduct daily tick checks.

- Tick check your gear and clothing prior to getting into a vehicle or entering your home.

- Place exposed clothing and gear directly into dryer on high heat for 10 minutes to kill ticks that may be clinging to the fabric. (It has to be the dryer - putting them directly in the washer does not kill ticks.)

- Shower as soon as you come inside.

- Avoid sleeping with pets.

Over 60 percent of blacklegged ticks in Vermont are infected with a disease causing pathogen. Add a daily tick check to your social distancing routine to help prevent tickborne diseases. Additional prevention resources, including information about how to landscape your yard to discourage ticks, is available at


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