A Maine resident has died from the Powassan virus, a uncommon tick-borne sickness, Maine’s Facilities for Illness Management confirmed on Wednesday.
The person, who was seemingly contaminated within the state, developed neurologic signs and died whereas within the hospital, based on Maine’s CDC.
That is the state’s first case of Powassan virus this yr. In 2022, two people died from the sickness, making this the third recorded Powassan loss of life in Maine since 2015.
Like Lyme illness, which the CDC says impacts over 400,000 People annually, the illness is brought on by a virus transmitted by way of ticks. Many individuals who contract the Powassan virus don’t expertise any signs.
Although solely a handful of circumstances are reported yearly within the U.S., the uncommon virus could be lethal. About 15% % of circumstances are deadly, based on the Maine CDC. About half of the individuals who survive extreme an infection have long-term well being issues.
The illness can take as much as a month to incubate earlier than signs like fever, headache, vomiting, seizures, or reminiscence loss seem. Some folks might expertise severe neurologic issues, like mind or spinal wire irritation, and the virus may cause encephalitis, an an infection of the mind, or meningitis, which impacts the membranes across the mind and spinal wire.
Powassan virus could be transmitted by way of the chunk of an contaminated deer tick or woodchuck tick. The virus was first recognized in 1958 and was first present in deer ticks, which chunk people and in addition carry Lyme illness, within the mid-Nineteen Nineties. Most circumstances have occurred within the northeastern and Nice Lakes areas throughout tick season from late spring by way of mid-fall.
There aren’t any efficient antibiotics or antivirals to deal with the illness, and the CDC recommends relaxation, fluids, and over-the-counter ache drugs for circumstances that don’t require hospitalization.
To remain protected throughout tick season, the CDC recommends sporting insect repellant when spending time in areas the place ticks are current, inspecting clothes and pores and skin afterward, bathing or showering upon returning residence, and commonly inspecting pets who’ve been outdoor.
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