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The first event, planned for 6 p.m. Friday, May 17, is a hike at the Mile-Around Woods. It starts from John G. McCullough Free Library in North Bennington.

RiseVT's Rise to the Challenge Combines Three Events

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BENNINGTON, Vt. — Three events are being held May 17-19 to encourage all, especially kids, to kick off the warm weather with physical activity.

"Our area is so rich with fun and interesting opportunities to move," Bennington County RiseVT Program Coordinator Andrea Malinowski said. "This set of three events highlights some of those great resources and encourages families to increase their physical activity."

The first event, planned for 6 p.m. Friday, May 17, is a hike at the Mile-Around Woods. It starts from John G. McCullough Free Library in North Bennington. This free and family-friendly walk will take participants around the Park-McCullough House or the Mile-Around Woods.

Attendees to the hike will receive a flyer on which they can collect signatures at each of the events. Those who participate in all three become a RiseVT Certified Champion, win special RiseVT and Southwestern Vermont Health Care swag, and are entered to win a raffle of fun summer-inspired prizes.


 
The second event is the Grace Happy Race 5K and Fun Run at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, at Grace Christian School, Bennington. Visit the website for fees and registration.

And finally, the community is invited to the first Family Fitness Fest starting at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Mount Anthony Union Middle School, Bennington. It's free and family-friendly and includes food, a color run, smoothie bike, local motion bikes, and much more.

For more information about each of the events, call 802-379-5468.

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Health Matters: Four Quick Tips to Protect Against Anaplasmosis

By Marie J. George

For those who don't work in health care, the disease anaplasmosis sounds made up. In reality, it's the second most common tick-borne illness affecting our region. 

Like Lyme disease, the most common one, it is caused by bacteria carried by the blacklegged tick. According to the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont has the highest annual incidence of anaplasmosis nationwide.

You can get anaplasmosis, Lyme disease, as well as a handful of less common tick-borne diseases from the same bite. Because of the tick life cycle, the number of tick bites peaks in May and June and again in late October and November. 

Here are some quick tips to protect you against anaplasmosis and other tick-borne diseases:

Avoid getting bitten by a tick in the first place. One of the most effective ways to prevent tick bites is to treat your clothing with permethrin, which both repels and kills ticks. It is very effective against tick bites and poses no threat to humans. It is often marketed for "clothing and gear." One treatment, following to the directions on the package, can last up to six washings. Permethrin can be used around your yard in the form of tick-control tubes. You can make them yourself or buy them online. They use cotton treated with permethrin. Mice use the cotton to build their nests. The permethrin kills the ticks without harming the mice. Also, keep your yard mowed and free from brush or leaves and avoiding wooded and bushy areas and those with tall grass or leaf litter. If you enjoy hiking, walk in the center of the trail. And use a repellent that contains 20 percent or more DEET, picaridin or IR3535 on exposed skin, following the directions on the package.

Keep the ticks that found you from biting you. Change clothes when you come inside. Wash them in hot water and tumble dry. If possible, bathe or shower within two hours of coming indoors, as well. Conduct a thorough tick check. Deer tick nymphs look as small as a poppy seed on your skin. They can hide in and behind ears, under arms, in the groin, and behind the knees. Check yourself, have a family member check your back and other areas that are difficult to see, and check your children carefully.

Remove ticks that have bitten you immediately. Use pointy tweezers or an aftermarket tick removal device. Grab the tick as close to the skin as possible, and pull it straight upwards. Do not use any lubricants or hot objects. Mouthparts remaining in your skin does not increase the chances of infection. They will come out on their own. Disinfect the area with alcohol or other disinfectant. Identify the tick using online resources, if possible. Then flush it down the sink or toilet.

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