What Parents Should Know About The Drastic Increase In Tick-Borne Powassan Virus

By Abbie Kraft, Parent Herald May 05, 03:52 am
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Parents should be cautious as tick related diseases are on the rise this summer. PICTURED:Ticks in small bottles rest on Tick ID Carrier information cards June 29, 2004 in New York City.
(Photo : Stephen Chernin/Getty Image)

Health care experts warn parents of the possible diseases that can surface this summer season. Parents are reminded to stay cautious as a deadly and rare tick-borne disease called the Powassan virus is currently on the rise.

A life-threatening virus, which is usually carried out by fleas, is making rounds this summer. The tick-borne virus includes three types of ticks, including the deer tick that is responsible for transmitting Lyme disease. Seventy-five cases of the Powassan virus have been reported, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It remains uncertain as to how the virus would take over, as well as its intensity, but health care providers urge parents to take the necessary precautions. Everyone can be placed at risk, may it be infants and teenagers, as CNN mentioned.

Patients with weak immune system are bound to have a tough time in terms of recovery. There are those who won't be able to survive the virus, while almost 50 percent would end up with a long-term neurological damage.

"About 15 percent of patients who are infected and have symptoms are not going survive," Dr. Jennifer Lyons, who is also an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, said. "Of the survivors, at least 50 percent will have long-term neurological damage that is not going to resolve."

Patients that are bitten would first experience flu-like symptoms. People who are bitten would also experience muscle pains, rash, a fever and a severe headache. As the disease progress, the patient would have difficulties in maintaining consciousness and may develop seizures.

Goudarz Molaei, a research scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, mentioned that this 2017, ticks will be on the loose, and they might be infected with Lyme disease. Just this month, a woman was left bed-bound after she was bitten by a tick while traveling 10 years ago.

Emma Horlock, 42, was stuck by Lyme disease and suffered the effects of the ailment without getting treatment, Daily Mail reported. She's scheduled to travel by boat from Liverpool to the U.S. next week to finally receive her treatment.

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