Health officials are alerting people about the deadly Powassan virus disease, a non-treatable illness spread by ticks, after the Maine Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said that a Sagadahoc County resident has died from the rare virus.
According to The Independent, up to 25 people in the US are infected every year, with the most recent death marking the third fatal case in Maine since 2015, Fox News reported.
The Powassan virus is typically transmitted to humans through bites by infected deer ticks, groundhog ticks, or squirrel ticks, most commonly in the Great Lakes region of North America between late spring and mid-autumn.
Although Powassan cases are rare, but more cases have been documented in recent years. Infections with the Powassan virus in humans have been reported in the US, Canada, and Russia.
Here are details related to the symptoms of the Powassan virus and how you can protect yourself:
According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the majority of Powassan virus-infected people lack any symptoms. For people with symptoms, the time from a tick bite to feeling sick ranges from 1 week to 1 month.
Many people infected with the Powassan virus do not have symptoms. For people with symptoms, the time from a tick bite to feeling sick ranges from 1 week to 1 month.
Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness.
Powassan virus can cause severe disease, including infection of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
Symptoms of severe disease include confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, and seizures.
Approximately 1 out of 10 people with severe diseases die.
Approximately half of the people who survive severe disease have long-term health problems such as recurring headaches, loss of muscle mass and strength, and memory problems.
There are no medications to prevent or treat Powassan virus infection. Antibiotics do not treat viruses.
Rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain medications may relieve some symptoms.
People with severe disease often need to be hospitalized to receive support for breathing, staying hydrated, or reducing swelling in the brain.