Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Should we worry about Powassan virus?

It's not like you already don't have enough to worry about, but talk about the Powassan virus is making it's way around social media like wildfire. Should you be concerned? Yes, if you live in the far Northeastern part of the United States. Powassan 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  are particularly susceptible to neurological damage through encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. There is no known cure or treatment. 

Now that's scary.

Some good news, please? There are no reported cases of Powassan virus in Missouri, Kansas or neighboring states. So far.

Black legged ticks, like the one shown here are famous for carrying Lyme disease but also carry the Powassan virus and researchers working steadfastly to find a solution. In the meantime, carry on with your outdoor fun, just slather on a good helping of DEET based tick repellent.

A previous article about a local tick-borne strain can be found here.