BURLINGTON – Ticks may not be the subject most high school students want to study, but the tiny parasites could launch a video career and land a guest appearance on network TV – and help prevent Lyme disease.
Vermont students in grades 9 through 12 who write, produce and enter a 60-second video via YouTube into the “Be Tick Smart” contest by May 1 can win the opportunity to broadcast and discuss their work on the WCAX (CBS Channel 3) news show “The :30.”
The contest, sponsored by the Vermont Department of Health, is an effort to raise awareness about Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that spreads through the bite of the black-legged deer tick. The Health Department is working to make everyone more aware of ticks and how to keep from getting a tick bite. A deer tick must be attached for about 36 hours before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted. Prompt removal can prevent illness.
The deer tick has become the most frequently found tick in Vermont. Cases of Lyme disease reached an all-time high in 2011 with more than 500 reports of people who were likely exposed in the state. In 2012, there were 367 reported cases with likely exposure in the state.
Lyme disease can be effectively treated with antibiotic therapy for 10 days to four weeks. Left untreated, the disease can be serious and affect the skin, heart, nerves or joints.
Videos will be judged on the basis of creativity and originality, accuracy of information about ticks and Lyme disease, and quality of direction and production. The winning video will be an effective public service announcement.
For contest guidelines and how to submit your video via Youtube visit: http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/zoonotic/tickborne/video_contest.aspx
For more information about Lyme disease and other health news, information and alerts, visit www.healthvermont.gov. Follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook.