Connecticut reported the first death of the year and the second case of the Povassan virus caused by a tick bite

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The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) recently announced the second case of Povassan virus infection (POWV) in the state and the first death in 2022, according to a press release.

“This incident warns residents to take measures to prevent tick bites until late autumn,” the doctor said. Manisha Jutani, State DPH Commissioner.

“DPH emphasizes the use of insect repellents this summer and the avoidance of high-risk areas such as high grasses where mites can be found. It is important to check for ticks carefully when outdoors, which reduces the chances of you and your family being infected. ».

The second woman to be tested positive for the virus this year was a 90- to 99-year-old woman.

He lived with a well-known tick bite in New London County, which was removed two weeks before symptoms began.

A close-up of a lone star tick. The best way to prevent tick bites is to wear light-colored long sleeves and tuck your pants into your socks when walking outside in tall grass, wear insect repellents, and check your skin for ticks when you enter. (Screenshot: Youtube / FOX 13 Seattle)
(Screenshot: Youtube / FOX 13 Seattle)

He began feeling unwell in early May, later developed a fever, changed his mental state, and was admitted to a local hospital complaining of headaches and chest pains, but died on May 17 without responding for the next two weeks.

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Tests at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed the presence of antibodies to POWV.

Between 2017 and 2021, Connecticut reported 12 cases of POWV-related illness, including two fatalities.

The first case of POWV in Connecticut was a 50-year-old man from Windham County who became ill in late March after being bitten by a tick.

Plan of a tick in a plant's straw

Plan of a tick in a plant’s straw
(iStock)

He was hospitalized with a central nervous system disease, but was discharged from the hospital and recovered at home.

“Commissioner Jutani added that POWV is most commonly transmitted by black-legged or deer tick bites. It can take a week to a month for symptoms of POWV to appear after a tick bite, and the virus can be transmitted. 15 minutes after the first tick bite,” he said. in a state press release.

Although some people infected with the virus have no symptoms, others develop a serious illness that affects the central nervous system.

It is a lone adult tick tick.  Single star mites can transmit the causative agents of tick-borne diseases such as erysipelas and southern tick-borne rash or STARI.

It is a lone adult tick tick. Single star mites can transmit the causative agents of tick-borne diseases such as erysipelas and southern tick-borne rash or STARI.
(Credit: NIAID (Photo by: IMAGE POINT FR / NIH / NIAID / BSIP // Universal Images Group via Getty Images))

Severe cases can begin with fever, headache, and vomiting, and can quickly progress to confusion, loss of coordination, difficulty speaking, or seizures.

Approximately 10% of serious illnesses are fatal, and about half of survivors experience long-term health problems.

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There is no specific treatment or vaccine for POWV, but severe illness may require hospitalization, respiratory support, and hydration.

To prevent tick bites, the Department of Health recommends the use of mosquito repellents recommended by the CDC, skin examinations immediately upon return home, and showering within two hours of arrival to avoid “grassy, ​​brushy, or wooded areas.”

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He also warns that although ticks are active from spring to autumn, they can also be active in winter when it is warm outside.

Click here to prevent Powassan virus and tick bites.

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