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

Ticks Suck: Examining The Factors That Lead To Tick-Borne Illness

As the incidence of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses rises, we're talking about the growing risk and what may happen next.
Erik Karits
Bacterial DNA in the guts of ticks could help researchers understand tick-borne disease much better.

Black-legged ticks have become an unwelcome and feared part of outdoor recreation in Vermont because they carry bacteria that can lead to Lyme Disease and other infections. To help prevent these illnesses from spreading, researchers in Vermont are trying to understand, what is going on in the guts and the habitat of ticks?  On the next Vermont Edition, we go deep into the science of ticks, bacterial DNA and the prevalence of tick-borne illnesses in our region.  Our guests are epidemiologist Bradley Tompkins of the Vermont Health Department, and biology professors Bill Landesman of Green Mountain College and Alan Giese of Lyndon State College.

  • Previous coverage of Lyme Disease treatment and debateis here
  • CDC information on tick-borne illness is here
  • Tick bite prevention tips are here
  • Vermont Health Department's tick tracker is here

Also on the program, we get a glimpse inside a federal program designed to help high-risk offenders coming out of prison. This voluntary program is for people coming out of prison with lengthy terms of probation or parole, and who also have a significant history of drug addiction. They get a year off probation if they can complete a rigorous program that includes frequent court sessions, drug testing, and mental health and addiction counseling. We listen in on one session of re-entry court and hear more about how the program works.

Broadcast live on Thursday, June 2, 2016, at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Patti is an integral part of VPR's news effort and part of the team that created Vermont Edition. As executive producer, Patti supervises the team that puts Vermont Edition on the air every day, working with producers to select and research show ideas, select guests and develop the sound and tone of the program.
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.
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