Powassan Virus - What you should know
IT IS RARE
Powassan Virus is an infection transmitted to humans through a tick bite; the same tick that caries Lyme disease and associate infections. There have only been 75 cases of Powassan Virus reported to the CDC to date in the last 10 years. Pawassan Virus has been recognized in the United States, Canada and Russia. In the United States it is mainly reported out of the North East and the Great Lakes region.
IT CAN BE DEADLY
Many of those infected with Powassan do not develop symptoms. The symptoms may come on days and up to a month from the time one has had a tick bite.
Symptoms may include:
Loss of coordination
These symptoms occur due to the involvement of the central nervous system causing encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surrounds the central nervous system – brain and spinal cord).
It is reported that at least half the patients will develop permanent neurologic sequel such as: recurrent headaches, muscle wasting and memory problems. Of note, about 10% of cases of Pawassan Virus are fatal.
IT IS PREVENTABLE
When symptoms of the virus come on they can be severe and the treatment for the most part is supportive care. If the symptoms are severe enough with change in mental status, severe headaches, fevers and seizures one would have to be managed in the hospital to maintain good respiratory status and circulation.
Diagnosis Pawassan is done by taking proper history and doing a physical exam, blood work and cerebrospinal fluid can also be tested for virus specific IgM and neutralizing antibodies that can take up to 2 weeks to come back.
Because there is no good treatment known for Pawassan Virus, the best consideration is prevention. Protecting yourself against Pawassan is preventing yourself against ticks.
The ways to prevent yourself against ticks are
Protecting your yard by fencing it and spraying against insects.
Protecting your outdoor pets by talking to your veterinarian.
Protecting yourself and your kids with insect repellent clothing such as DrFrid Kidswear found on www.DrFrid.com
Elena Frid MD
Pediatric and Adult Autoimmune Neurology Specialist
Millions of children contract vector-borne illnesses at very young ages when their systems are still developing. These illnesses can then evolve to lifelong struggles with neurologic, psychiatric and developmental problems that can occur from a bite of a tiny insect.
As a medical professional and a mother, she was inspired to create DrFrid kidswear with built-in Insect Shield® protection. The collection offers an EPA-registered, odorless, comfortable, fashionable, and invisible insect protection for children. Dr. Frid's Insect repellent children’s clothing is a remarkable breakthrough in personal protection and helps afford parents peace of mind when their loved ones are enjoying the outdoors in insect-risk areas.
FACEBOOK LIVE WITH DR. FRID
Dr. Elena Frid will be speaking with Teresa Priolo about Lyme disease prevalence, symptoms, and prevention tips against ticks.
May 19th - 12:00 AM
Redefining the Future of Tick-borne Diseases
Dr. Elena Frid presents on "Redefining Neurologic Lyme Disease" - May 18th
7:00 | WELCOME
7:05 | Courage in Research Award
7:45 | Redefining Neurologic Lyme Disease - Elena Frid, MD
8:15 | An overview of Tickborne Disease’s and the Complexities of Controlling & Eradicating the Infection - Thomas Moorcroft, DO
9:00 – 9:30 I Q & A
Western Connecticut State University
43 Lake Avenue Ext. (Mill Plain Road)
Danbury CT. 06811.
Directions can be found here, http://www.wcsu.edu/campustour/directions.asp.