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Vermont has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the U.S. 2018-03-13T18:10:11+00:00

Lyme disease is caused by an infection with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, spread to humans by black-legged “deer” ticks.

When Lyme disease is accurately diagnosed and properly treated patients often recover completely. However, some individuals experience long-term, debilitating effects, even after completing standard treatment.

Some people who are sick with Lyme disease may have “co-infections” According to the Vermont Department of Health, Bartonella, Babesia, Anaplasmosis, Powassan virus, Erlichiosis, and other tick-borne pathogens have been found in Vermont. While “Lyme disease” usually refers specifically to an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the term is sometimes used to describe a tick-borne illness involving multiple pathogens.

Lyme disease can affect the skin, heart, nervous system and joints. It can appear in unique ways and mimic other diseases or disorders including heart conditions, Anxiety or Bi-polar disorders, Multiple sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Depression, and more.

When Lyme symptoms do not resolve after treatment it can be called “Chronic Lyme.” There is controversy about whether these ongoing symptoms represent a chronic infection, or an ongoing immune response. The CDC refers to this condition as “Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” (PTLDS).

Vermont has been consistently #1 or #2 in the U.S. for per-capita Lyme infections, and the rate of infections is increasing.

Tests for Lyme disease may not be accurate

Because of the way Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) act within the body, antibodies may not always be present in the bloodstream. Testing an infected person too early will produce a negative result. Some people with late-stage, disseminated Lyme disease may also test negative. False positive tests do occur, and accurate tests for co-infections are not always available in Vermont.

Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis

According to the CDC, a diagnosis of Lyme disease should be based on symptoms, and potential exposure to ticks. A negative blood test for Lyme disease does not necessarily mean you are free from infection. If you have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease you may be infected, even if a blood test is negative.

Not everyone gets a “Bulls-Eye” rash

Estimates from the CDC show one in four people who have Lyme disease do not see a rash. In a 2014 survey of confirmed Lyme cases in Vermont, a rash occurred in less than half of pediatric Lyme infections. In 2016, the Vermont Department of Health reported cases of confirmed Lyme disease without EM rashes have been steadily increasing in Vermont. The absence of a rash does not mean you do not have Lyme disease.

Resources

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Events

Lyme Disease Association/Columbia Lyme Conference

August 27 @ 8:00 am - October 28 @ 5:00 pm

Burlington Area Lyme Support Group

October 14 @ 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Submit Your Vermont Event

About VTLyme

Our Mission at VTLyme.org is to provide equitable information, prevention education, and support for Vermonters affected by Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

  1. Educate Vermonters about the prevention of Lyme and tick-borne diseases, and the wide-ranging symptoms of tick-borne illnesses.
  2. Provide Vermonters access to accurate and updated information about the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.
  3. Encourage Vermont medical providers to gain knowledge and expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.
  4. Provide dependable support and resources for individuals and families in Vermont affected by Lyme and tick-borne diseases.

This site is created for Vermonters who are concerned about, or affected by, Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. It can be difficult to find accurate, unbiased information about Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment online, especially when looking for information and resources specific to Vermont.

VTLyme.org does not provide medical advice. Use of this site is for information only. Please consult your medical provider before making any decisions about diagnosis or treatment.

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