Tick Season: A Case of Powassan Virus in Maine

It’s summertime, and that means tick season is upon us. We’ve all had to deal with the annoying insects, whether it’s pulling them off our pets, spraying bug spray before heading outside, or finding them on your own body! Those who live in rural, wooded areas know the struggle more than anyone. People from Maine handle ticks all the time, and now they’re experiencing tick-borne illnesses as the weather continues to improve. In fact, the Maine Center for Disease Control confirmed that there was a case of the rare Powassan virus.

About Powassan Virus

According to the CDC, the Powassan virus is a rare tick-borne illness that has been seeing a recent increase in cases. Three types of tick are known to spread this virus: squirrel ticks, groundhog ticks, and deer ticks. The latter is the most common when it comes to spreading illnesses; they’re also known for spreading things like Lyme disease.

Some people do not experience symptoms after being bitten by an infected tick. If one does, they will see symptoms like weakness, headache, fever, and vomiting. It’s important to seek treatment for this virus, as it can lead to life-threatening complications, such as meningitis or encephalitis, and one of every ten affected individuals dies. Those who recover often experience long-term complications, such as memory problems, the loss of muscle mass, the loss of strength, and recurrent headaches. There is no vaccine or treatment for the Powassan virus; doctors aim to address specific symptoms.

Powassan Virus in Maine

According to Maine’s Center for Disease Control, a single case of Powassan virus was diagnosed in Waldo County. The affected individual has been hospitalized, where they are now recovering. This person is one of the few people who contracted the virus, as there are only 25 cases in the country each year. In Maine, there have only been nine reports of the virus in the past eleven years.

It’s important to look out for ticks, especially if you live in a rural area like Maine. Wear protective clothing, use bug spray, and conduct regular checks to ensure that no ticks tried to hitch a ride inside. These tips not only protect against the Powassan virus but a number of other tick-borne illnesses, such as Lyme disease or babesiosis.

Find the source article here.

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