Tags: powassan virus | tick | found | connecticut

Powassan Virus: Cases of Deadly Tick-Borne Virus Found in Connecticut

By    |   Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 07:52 PM

Cases of the Powassan virus, an untreatable tick-borne illness that can lead to serious health consequences and even death, have been found in Connecticut, and health officials are warning about the seriousness of the disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12 cases of the virus in 2013, seven in 2012, and 12 in 2011, up significantly from 2004 when just one case was reported.

“Most cases have occurred in the Northeast and Great Lakes region. Signs and symptoms of infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss,” the CDC said of the Powassan virus. “Long-term neurologic problems may occur. There is no specific treatment, but people with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.”

In 2013, a high school senior in Poughkeepsie, New York, died suddenly after contracting the virus, just one example of the seriousness of the disease, which is typically more serious than the more common Lyme disease that is carried by ticks.

“You can reduce your risk of being infected with POW virus by using tick repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, and doing thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors,” the CDC said.

Although there is no known treatment or cure, individuals who suspect they may have the Powassan virus should go to doctors to be supported should the illness become severe.

"The doctor just has to support you during the acute illness and hope that you survive," Dr. Daniel Cameron, president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, told CBS News. If an individual is bitten by a tick infected with the Powassan virus, he or she can get the virus within minutes.

"You can get seizures, high fevers, stiff neck. It comes on so suddenly that it's the kind of thing people go to the emergency room for," he said.

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Cases of the Powassan virus, an untreatable tick-borne illness that can lead to serious health consequences and even death, have been found in Connecticut, and health officials are warning about the seriousness of the disease.
powassan virus, tick, found, connecticut
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2015-52-09
Thursday, 09 Apr 2015 07:52 PM
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