Another Tick Borne Virus! Spreading in Connecticut for Now

Cort

Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising
Staff member
More tick stuff! The finding that black-legged ticks are carrying a new virus in Connecticut just shows what incredible vectors of disease these insects can be. The Powassan virus causes encephalitis and kills from 10-15% of people who get it. I imagine the percentage of chronically ill patients who have lasting effects from the virus is much higher.

It's found in a low percentage of ticks for now in Connecticut. Unlike Borrelia it can be transmitted within minutes of the tick bite.

Blacklegged ticks have long been feared for their ability to spread Lyme disease, but now they are carrying something arguably worse.
Researchers in Connecticut have confirmed that a potentially deadly tick-borne virus has entered the state. Spread by blacklegged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks, the Powassan virus can even be more dangerous than Lyme disease and can cause serious nervous system disruptions, encephalitis, and meningitis. In documented cases, about 10 to 15 percent of those who contract the virus will die from it. Although the virus has a low occurrence rate, experts say the state should expect to see its first human cases soon.

[fright][bimg=no-lightbox]http://cdn.net.outdoorhub.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2015/04/outdoorhub-more-dangerous-than-lyme-disease-new-deadly-powassan-virus-arrives-in-connecticut-2015-04-13_17-42-15.jpg[/bimg][/fright]

It’s an emerging tick-borne disease that we’re going to be looking at more closely. Right now, we know it’s in the state,” Theodore Andreadis, director of the New Haven Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, told NBC News. “We don’t know how widespread it is but we’re going to be doing more work to find out, and with reported cases in surrounding states, it’s quite likely we’re getting some human exposure here in Connecticut.”

Scientists at the station positively identified traces of the virus in ticks from North Brandford and Brideport during a recent survey. The number of ticks infected with Powassan was low, just two to three percent, but the emergence of a new tick-borne disease in the state is troubling. Experts are especially concerned with the Powassan virus due to its numerous and debilitating symptoms.

“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,” Dr. Daniel Cameron, president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, toldCBS News.

The virus can be contracted within minutes of a tick bite and can present symptoms similar to those of Lyme disease. In addition, victims of the Powassan virus are particularly susceptible to neurological damage through encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. There is no known cure or treatment.
 

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