Powassan virus kills woman, second tick-borne infection in Connecticut in 2022

Connecticut had two cases in 2022. These are two confirmed cases of people infected with the Poisan virus. The first was a man in his fifties who ended up in the hospital for central nervous system malaise before happily recovering later. The second has just been confirmed by the Connecticut Department of Public Health: a woman in her 90s, who unfortunately has not survived a tick-borne infection.

The woman encountered a tick sometime in April. And ticks really do bite and suck, literally and figuratively. A tick that carries the Powassan virus only takes 15 minutes or so to transmit the virus to a person who bites it. Two weeks after the tick was removed from her body, the woman began to feel ill. Eventually, her symptoms, which included fever, headache, chills, tremors, chest pain, nausea, and altered mental status, led to her being taken to a local hospital. She fell into a coma and eventually died on May 17.

here WFSB Channel Three Eyewitnesses News Report of the first human case of Poisan virus in Connecticut in 2022, the man who contracted the infection in March:

Of course, two numbers aren’t a very big number, unless you’re talking about the woolly mammoth in your bathroom. Poisan virus infection remains extremely rare with 12 cases reported in Connecticut from 2017 to 2021, two of which resulted in deaths. In the decade from 2011 through 2020, the number of reported cases of invasive neurological disease Poisanne virus fluctuated from six in 2015 to 39 in 2019, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). .

However, the question is whether this potentially life-threatening infection may become less rare. Last year, 2021, there were three confirmed diseases of the Poisanne virus in the Constitution State. This year there have been two such cases with a lot of ticks, ticks and ticks in tick season. May through July is usually peak tick season, although a second peak can occur in the fall. Although, in theory, any season could be tick season, as ticks hang out increasingly throughout the year, which is what really bites.

Furthermore, the number of Poisan virus cases reported may just be the “tick” of the iceberg, so to speak. Not everyone who is infected will have symptoms. And when symptoms do occur, they may be nothing more than mild flu-like symptoms. Such cases can go unrecognized or reported. Thus, the virus could spread more widely without public health officials knowing about it.

Of course, mild and asymptomatic cases are not the greatest concern. As the two cases in Connecticut this year demonstrated, the virus can take a real toll on your central nervous system. And you need your central nervous system to do important things like take selfies. as covered for Forbes A year ago, in some cases, a Poisin’s virus infection could develop into meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that wrap around the brain and spinal cord, or encephalitis, which occurs when the brain itself becomes inflamed. Of course, if you were to choose which part of your body you want to be inflamed, your brain and the membranes that encase your brain would rank near the bottom of the list. This inflammation can lead to a range of neurological problems and possibly death. The Connecticut Department of Public Health announcement noted that “about 1 in 10 cases of severe illness is fatal and nearly half of survivors have long-term health problems.”

Since there is currently no vaccine against Poisanne virus and no specific treatment, the best way to deal with the virus is to not get it in the first place. This means avoiding ticks. Three types of ticks can carry the Poisan virus. two of them Ixodes cookiesAnd the Also known as groundhog tick, Ixodes marxi, Also known as squirrel ticks, they tend not to bite humans. So unless you’re a giant groundhog, you don’t have to worry about these two types of ticks equally. But oh deer, it’s a deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), also known as the black tick, which likes to bite humans and can give you the Poisin virus.

These ticks tend to hang out in grassy, ​​brushed, or wooded areas. Therefore, it would be a good idea to cancel the party of lying naked in the brush, especially if you are in the eastern United States where deer ticks are more common. Spraying yourself with insecticides, such as those containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), can help repel ticks. So your clothes and other items can be treated with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin. But things like that wouldn’t be a non-permeable full-body condom. You should still be careful and try to avoid really unknown places.

And check yourself and others regularly for ticks whenever you are outside in areas that may have ticks. Of course, ask before you check others for ticks. Saying after the fact, “Oh, sorry, I was just checking for ticks,” usually doesn’t pay off well. Taking a shower in general can help, but also expel any ticks from your body. You should also check your clothes, assuming you are wearing clothes outside.

While reported human cases of Poisan virus infection are currently rare, the tick population in the United States has continued to grow. Climate change has led to warmer temperatures that are more favorable for ticks, allowing ticks to expand their habitats, as described by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) Climate and Health Assessment. and this is WFSB News 3 The report stated “Population Explosion” in Connecticut:

Yes, any time you see the words “explode” and “sign” next to each other, it’s probably not good news, assuming you’re not a big sign. It’s one thing for something to spread on TikTok. It’s another thing to have so many ticks to make more humans pass on viruses with pathogens like the Powassan virus.

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