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The home for VPR's coverage of health and health industry issues affecting the state of Vermont.

Lyme Disease: Spreading And Spurring Debate

The number of Lyme disease cases in Vermont has skyrocketed over the past decade.
Victoria Arocho
The number of Lyme disease cases in Vermont has skyrocketed over the past decade.

Vermont now has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the United States. Meanwhile the treatment of the disease continues to be a matter of controversy, within the state and across the country.

Doctors disagree over the existence of so-called "chronic" Lyme disease. The conventional wisdom of the medical establishment is that there's no such thing, but some doctors treat patients who have persistent symptoms with long-term courses of antibiotics. Last year, Vermont passed a bill with the intent to ensure that doctors who use this type oflong-termtreatment won't face punishment. But the law has certainly not ended the debate.

We talk to Alan Giese, professor of natural sciences at Lyndon State College and an expert on disease-carrying ticks; David Herlihy, executive director of the Vermont Board of Medical Practice;  Dr. Tom Moorcroft, an osteopathic physician based in Berlin, Connecticut who treats many patients with chronic Lyme disease;  and Dr. Jeffrey Parsonnet, an infectious disease specialist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and a professor of medicine at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine.

Later in the program, less traditional burial methods. We talk with Joshua Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, about natural burials and the recent passage of Act 24, which will make it easier to create green cemeteries.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Copyright 2015 Vermont Public

Jane Lindholm is the host, executive producer and creator of But Why: A Podcast For Curious Kids. In addition to her work on our international kids show, she produces special projects for Vermont Public. Until March 2021, she was host and editor of the award-winning Vermont Public program Vermont Edition.
Sam held multiple positions at Vermont Public Radio for several years, including managing editor of the award-winning programVermont Edition, and morning news editor.
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