Brain Swelling Tick Virus Found in Minnesota and Wisconsin

posted by Big Mark Clark - 

 Health officials are warning local residents to be on the alert for a sometimes deadly disease carried by ticks.

Powassan is spread by the same tick that carries Lyme disease. Powassan attacks the nervous system, affecting memory and balance.  Multiple cases of the virus have been identified in Minnesota and Wisconsin over the last several years.  From 2007-2016 Minnesota has had 25 reported cases of Powassan and Wisconsin has had 20 according to the CDC.  

Powassan virus neuroinvasive disease cases reported by state of residence, 2007–2016

CDC

Source: ArboNET, Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

There is no cure for Powassan so authorities say that is why it is so important to prevent a tick bite in the first place.  

Officials are warning residents to be sure to wear insect repellent whenever going into areas with woods or high grass.

People Magazine published a good article on the tick virus:

http://people.com/bodies/ticks-lyme-disease-powassan-virus/?preview_id=5733651.

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