Area ticks could carry new mutated virus

New Lyme In Town? Here's The Fuss Over The Tick-Borne Powassan Virus

New Lyme In Town? Here's The Fuss Over The Tick-Borne Powassan Virus

"Since ticks feed on mice and deer, anything that affects the tick, mouse or deer population could influence the number of Lyme cases", said Dr. Daniel Hart, an infectious disease specialist at Summit Medical Group. Today, there are two known types of the POW virus. The virus is spread through deer ticks and there is no treatment for it. Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the states with cases of Powassan virus.

A Lyme disease advocacy group says this year could be a particularly bad one for tick-borne illnesses in Manitoba. While blacklegged ticks can be found outside of these blacklegged tick risk areas, the risk of tick-borne disease transmission is lower.

The increase in ticks this season could bring more cases of Powassan Virus.

"Check your pets for ticks as well, as a tick can "catch a ride" on a pet and then attach to a human", DeLaMora said. Prevention is the first step The Powassan virus was first discovered in Ontario in 1958.

"About 15% of patients who are infected and have symptoms are not going survive".

According to Lyons, most of the people who get bitten by ticks infected with the Powassan virus "will never show symptoms". So, this disease can only infect you if you've been bitten by a tick. Symptoms include, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, headache and fever.Circular rashes are also a product of the disease. He also recommends using insect repellent and conducting tick checks after going outside.

The small but significant percentage of people who become more seriously ill will experience more severe symptoms a few days after the initial ones happen. "You start to develop difficulties with maintaining your consciousness and your cognition".

"Prevention is the key here because you don't want to get it" said Professor Wall.

Unlike Lyme Disease, the transition of Powassan can be fast. However, she admits that "we have no idea if any of that works". The pathogenic Powassan virus causes meningitis and swelling of the brain in extreme cases. Since 2008, there have been 22 reported cases in the state of Minneosta, one fatal, and researchers warn that the number could grow.

That same 2015 data ranked Vermont as the state with the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the country. Health experts are warning people to be very careful when they go outside.

According to the CDC, you should use tick repellents, wear long sleeves and long trousers, avoid bushy and wooded areas, and do thorough tick checks after you're done spending time outdoors.

The virus itself isn't new, but experts say it has recently mutated.

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