Person dies of rare complication of Lyme disease

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The Vermont Health Department says tests have confirmed that a resident has died of a rare complication of Lyme disease.

The state says it's the first reported death from Lyme carditis in Vermont.

Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine says while Lyme disease is increasingly common in Vermont, Lyme carditis is very rare. He says about 1 percent of all Lyme disease cases reported nationally to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experience Lyme carditis.

Levine says the rare condition happens when bacteria that cause Lyme disease gets into the tissues of the heart, where it can interfere with the movement of electrical signals between the heart's chambers.

Levine says while tick-borne diseases can cause serious illness, Lyme disease, including Lyme carditis, is treatable.