Deadly Tick Carrying Brain Swelling Virus Found In Upstate New York
As the warmer weather arrives, a deadly threat could be on the rise in New York: The Powassan virus, spread by ticks.
This disease is spread by the same deer tick that carries Lyme disease. Powassan attacks nervous system and can cause a dangerous brain swelling and in some cases even death.
According to WPDH, the most reported cases of the Powassan virus have been in New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota, in the most recent years.The virus has also recently been found in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
“You basically feel nonspecific flu-like stuff,” Dr. Jennifer Lyons, chief of the Division of Neurological Infections and Inflammatory Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told CNN. “Maybe you have a little rash on your skin, but almost certainly, you’ll have a fever and the headache.”
There is currently no treatment for the virus that kills around 10% of people who become sick. Half are left with permanent neurological problems. Symptoms can include, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss.
Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals but you can get ticks in your own backyard. So before heading outdoors, treat clothing and gear with repellent. While outside, avoid wooded and brushy areas with high grass. Walk in the center of all trails. After you come indoors check your clothing for ticks. Throw clothes in the dryer on high heat for 10 minutes. If clothes need washing, do it in HOT WATER to kill any ticks.
Once you've checked and taken off your clothes, take a shower to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease or other tickborne diseases. Don't forget to check your body too.
Under the arms
In and around the ears
Inside belly button
Back of the knees
In and around the hair
Between the legs
Around the waist