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POWASSAN VIRUS IN CONNECTICUT

Posted by Freddie on May 6, 2017

Tick Borne Disease: Powassan Virus

 

I touched a little on this in some of my previous blogs and posts but now more than ever the Powassan Virus is on our radar. Why you ask, well consider the facts:

  • Transmitted by the Deer Tick
  • More severe than Lyme Disease
  • Death or permanent disability
  • Week ago, 5-month-old baby from Connecticut was diagnosed with Powassan Virus
  • Transmitted in 15 minutes
  • Reported cases have mostly come from the Northeast
  • No treatment for the disease as of now

“For those who develop this severe form of the disease, the statistics are somber: 10 percent die and 50 percent end up with some form of neurological disability. There is no real treatment for the virus, just supportive care until the body vanquishes it.” (from http://www.today.com/health/worse-lyme-tick-borne-powassan-virus-worries-experts-t110892)

The CDC has warnings and information related to the virus as well:

“Powassan Virus is transmitted to humans by infected ticks. Approximately 75 cases of POW virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. 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. 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.”

 

“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. If you think you or a family member may have POW virus disease, it is important to consult your healthcare provider.”  (https://www.cdc.gov/powassan/)

More and more experts are worried about this troublesome virus exploding like Lyme did.

CNN.com reported (http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/03/health/powassan-tick-virus/)

“Goudarz Molaei, a research scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, is predicting more new Lyme disease infections in the coming months due to larger numbers of ticks and higher infection rates among them. Each year, there are nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease across the United States, according to the CDC, though with unconfirmed cases, the total may be as high as 300,000.

Historically, in the winter, the station doesn't receive many ticks for testing, he explained: one or two per month, maybe five at the most.

Where climate change is threatening the health of Americans

"This year so far, we've received hundreds of ticks," Molaei said. "Since April 1, we've received nearly 1,000 ticks." This greater abundance comes as a result of two consecutive warm winters, which the insects are better able to survive, and longer springs and summers.

Overall, 38% of these ticks have tested positive for Lyme disease, he said.

"In one day, 50% of ticks were infected," he said. Peak season should be occurring around June or July.

"To make the matter more complicated, we are seeing greater number of ticks infected with other tick-associated pathogens, including babesiosis and anaplasmosis," Molaei said. Both babesiosis and anaplasmosis usually don't have symptoms, just like Powassan, though both may cause severe or even life-threatening illnesses.

"With ticks, it is no longer just Lyme disease," Molaei said.”

So, like I said now more than ever Powassan Virus is on our radar, this is the time to treat your property for ticks. When kids are playing outside if possible have them wear socks, pants, long-sleeves and some sort of repellant. Always check pets and children when they come in from the outdoors, check underarms, scalp, groin, ears, any warm dark areas. Have your kids stay away from the tree lines and shady areas. Call Guardian Pest Control and get a quote for Fight The Bite, Mosquito, Tick, and Flea treatment and get 50% off your first application.

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