Be Tick Smart! – 9/24 (Tues)

What: Be Tick Smart!

When: Tuesday, September 24th – 3pm & 6:30pm

The Waterbury Public Library will be hosting Vermont Department of Health Epidemiologist and Infectious Disease Designee Twyla deNeergaard, on Tuesday, September 24th to educate and inform both children and adults on ticks and tick-borne diseases.  Nurse deNeergaard will be giving two programs that day at 3:00 and 6:30 pm respectively.

Ticks are more prevalent in Vermont than they used to be.  In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the numbers have more than tripled from 2004.  The longer shoulder seasons (fall and spring) give ticks time to find a host to over-winter, which in turn aids in the spread of tick-borne diseases.  And though adult ticks might be vulnerable to the cold, larva and nymphs (young ticks) hiding in the ground cover, are not.  Ninety-nine percent of all tick-borne diseases reported are caused by the blacklegged tick, according to the Vermont Department of Health.  Blacklegs are also known as deer ticks because of the ticks’ common host: white tailed deer.

What to do?  Be Tick Smart!

“Be a Tick Detective” – For Children (3pm)

“Be a Tick Detective” at 3 pm will use interactive games for children to learn how to identify ticks, find out about their habitat, and how to protect themselves from being bitten. (Lyme disease will also be addressed as well.)  The children will also get to examine real tick specimens with a magnifying glass.  (Don’t worry they’re not alive!)

Tickborne Diseases in Vermont – For Adults (6:30pm)

At 6:30 pm for adults, deNeergaard will focus on the Black-legged tick, the pathogens/germs it carries, its life cycle, and what it means for us humans interacting with these ticks.  She will also review the common and not-so-common diseases they carry.  The program will conclude with protection strategies everyone can employ to diminish risk.

DeNeergaard has been working as a professional nurse for over 45 years and has been licensed in three states.  She has been with the Vermont Department of Health over 22 years, currently serving as the Epidemiology/Infectious Disease Designee, and overseeing the Immunization Program. A native Vermonter, she lives in Cabot with her husband.