Mosquito, Tick & Zoonotic Diseases

Zoonotic Disease

Diseases spread by mosquitoes, ticks and animals continue to be a serious public health concern. Zoonotic diseases are spread to humans directly from animals while vector-borne diseases are spread from animals or people to others by arthropods, like insects or ticks. Some of these diseases are rare and infrequently make people sick in Vermont, while others have become increasingly common.

The Vector-Borne & Zoonotic Disease program is responsible for tracking and responding to these diseases. We collect and analyze data to detect trends in disease activity, collaborate with other state agencies and work to educate Vermonters about disease risks and prevention strategies.

Be Tick Smart Video Contest for High School Students

Students in grades 9 -12 are encouraged to enter the Be Tick Smart Video Contest. Enter to win prizes up to $200. Make a 30-second PSA-style video and submit by April 3, 2017.

In This Section

In Vermont mosquito season begins in spring, but does not typically pose a health risk until the summer months. Take precautions against mosquito bites to protect yourself from mosquito-borne diseases. 

In Vermont, tick activity is highest in the spring, summer and fall. Take action against tick bites to prevent anaplasmosis, Lyme and other tickborne diseases.

Six tick species are known to bite humans in Vermont, and five can transmit diseases. But nearly all tickborne diseases reported to the Health Department are caused by the blacklegged tick.

People at greatest risk for getting anaplasmosis spend time outside. The disease is spread by the bite of an infected black-legged tick (deer tick) – the same tick that can transmit Lyme Disease.

Babesiosis is caused by an infection with a parasite called Babesia. It can be transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected black-legged tick, the same tick that transmits Lyme disease and anaplasmosis.

Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a rare but serious disease caused by a virus and spread by infected mosquitoes. The disease most commonly affects people and horses.

Ehrlichiosis is a disease caused by an infection with Ehrlichia bacteria. The bacteria are transmitted by the bite of a lone star tick, and may also be transmitted through blood transfusions.

Hantavirus can cause a serious disease in humans called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Hantavirus can be found in the urine, droppings and saliva of certain rodents.

Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tickborne disease in Vermont. In 2015, Vermont had the highest rate of reported Lyme disease cases in the U.S.

Rabid animals show a change in their normal behavior, but you cannot tell whether an animal has rabies simply by looking at it. Enjoy wildlife from a distance, and protect cats and dogs with rabies vaccine.