Winter is gone and spring is finally here. The flowers are popping up and you and your loved ones are back in the great outdoors. But, before you pop on a bathing suit and start running through the sprinkler, there’s a dangerous new tick borne disease that you need to be made aware of.
The Powassan virus, (named for the region in Canada where it was first identified,) is a rare, but extremely serious tick borne illness that has now been found to be present in our area. Currently, it doesn’t have a treatment or a cure.
Dr. Daniel Cameron, President of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society recently spoke about the disease. He said that if bitten by an infected tick you can get the virus within a matter of minutes, and while the symptoms are similar to Lyme disease, they are more severe.
“The doctor just has to support you during the acute illness and hope that you survive,” Dr. Daniel Cameron explained. “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.”
Powassan now joins other, more common tick borne illnesses already present in our area, including Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Lyme Disease. (For more information about these diseases, their signs, symptoms and treatments, please visit the CDC’s website at:
Monthly spraying regimens are the best way to help protect your family stay safe this summer. Additionally, wearing pants and long sleeves outside, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, checking for ticks, and wearing bug spray are measures you can take to remain safe.