Demise from rare tick-borne virus reported in Maine


The deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is a vector for Powassan virus.

The deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) is a vector for Powassan virus.
(Image credit: DieterMeyrl / Getty Photography)

An individual in Maine has died from an an infection with a rare tick-borne virus, in line with health officers.

On Wednesday (April 20), the Maine Heart for Disease Alter and Prevention (Maine CDC) announced that a resident of Waldo County, in south-central Maine, had died from Powassan virus. The virus is spread by the chunk of an contaminated deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), groundhog tick (Ixodes cookei) or squirrel tick (Ixodes marxi), in line with the U.S. Companies for Disease Alter and Prevention (CDC).

Powassan virus is rare within the U.S., with most effective about 25 conditions reported within the nation per one year since 2015, the Maine CDC acknowledged. (Earlier than 2015, the virus became even less current, with most effective about 10 conditions per one year between 2011 and 2014, in line with facts from the CDC.) Maine has reported 14 total conditions since 2010. Instances in overall occur within the northeastern and Great Lakes areas of the United States within the course of the unhurried spring by mid-tumble, in line with the CDC.

“Ticks are active and shopping for a bunch to chunk appropriate now,” Nirav D. Shah, director of the Maine CDC, acknowledged within the assertion. “I bustle Maine folk and visitors to utilize steps that prevent tick bites.”

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Many folks contaminated with Powassan virus don’t journey indicators, nonetheless for people who attain, the disease might perhaps presumably presumably moreover be serious, in line with the CDC. Preliminary indicators can embody fever, headache, vomiting and weak point.

Some folk with Powassan virus can assassinate an an infection of the mind (encephalitis), or of the membranes surrounding the mind and spinal wire (meningitis). Symptoms of these per chance serious stipulations can embody confusion, lack of coordination, challenge talking and seizures. About 10% of folk with severe disease die from the an infection, in line with the CDC.

In the Maine case, the affected person developed neurologic indicators and died while within the sanatorium, the assertion acknowledged.

There’s no negate cure for the an infection. Of us with severe disease in overall have to be hospitalized and receive supportive care, in conjunction with respiratory pork up, hydration and anti inflammatory medicines to decrease swelling within the mind, in line with the CDC.

The easiest solution to stop an infection with Powassan virus is to stop tick bites. Consistent with Maine CDC, solutions to stop tick bites embody: avoiding wooded and hairy areas with extensive grass (tick habitats) and staying on the guts of trails every time imaginable, the usage of insect repellent and treating clothes with the repellent permethrin, as well to performing tick exams, in particular after visiting tick habits.

The amplify in Powassan virus conditions within the U.S. in present years are likely which capacity of the expansion of the range for deer ticks (also frequently known as dim-legged ticks). Elements such as elevated temperatures and humidity, as well to an elevate in deer and mice populations, enjoy contributed to the expansion of the tick population, Are residing Science beforehand reported.

First and predominant published on Are residing Science. 

Rachael Rettner

Rachael has been with Are residing Science since 2010. She has a grasp’s stage in journalism from New York College’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the College of California, San Diego. Her work has regarded in Scienceline, The Washington Put up and Scientific American.