Tick checks urged year after Lyme disease peaked

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Department of Health is advising residents who spend time outdoors to do daily tick checks this summer, a year after the number of confirmed cases of Lyme disease in the state peaked.

In 2013, the state confirmed 674 cases of the disease. That's a big increase over 2012, with 386 cases, and 2011, with 476 cases.

Officials say infection can be prevented if the deer tick is removed within about 36 hours. The challenge is finding them: The immature ticks out this time of year are about the size of a poppy seed.

The Health Department recommends avoiding tall grass, areas with a lot of brush and leaf litter, and forest edges. It also advises using insect repellant and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.

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