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The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) not too long ago introduced the state’s second case of Powassan virus an infection (POWV) and first fatality in 2022, based on their press launch.
“This incident reminds us that residents must take actions to stop tick bites now via the late fall,” mentioned Dr. Manisha Juthani, who’s the commissioner of the state’s DPH.
“DPH stresses using insect repellent this summer and avoiding high-risk areas, reminiscent of tall grass, the place ticks could also be discovered. It’s additionally vital to test rigorously for ticks after being outdoors which might cut back the prospect of you and your loved ones members being contaminated with this harmful virus.”
The feminine affected person, who was the state’s second reported case who examined constructive for the virus this 12 months, was between the age of 90 to 99.
She lived in New London County with a recognized tick chunk, which was eliminated two weeks previous to onset of signs.
She began to not really feel properly in early Could, then was later admitted to an area hospital complaining of fever, altered psychological standing, headache and chest ache, however turned unresponsive over the subsequent two weeks and died on Could 17.
Testing carried out on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of antibodies to POWV.
12 instances of POWV related sickness have been reported in Connecticut throughout 2017 to 2021, together with two which have been deadly.
Connecticut’s first case with POWV was a male in his 50s, who was a resident of Windham County who turned sick in late March after a recognized tick chunk.
He was hospitalized with a central nervous system illness however was discharged from the hospital and recovered at residence.
“Commissioner Juthani added that POWV is often unfold via the chunk of an contaminated black-legged or deer tick. It takes every week to at least one month after the chunk from an contaminated tick to develop signs of POWV illness, and the virus might be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes after the tick first attaches,” the state’s press launch mentioned.
Though some people infected with the virus can have minimal to no signs, some will develop extreme sickness affecting the central nervous system.
Extreme instances might begin with fevers, headache, and vomiting that quickly progresses to confusion, lack of coordination, issue talking or seizures.
Roughly 10% instances of extreme sickness are deadly and roughly half of survivors expertise long-term well being issues, per the discharge.
There’s no specific treatment or vaccine for POWV, however extreme sickness might require hospitalization, respiratory help and hydration.
To stop tick bites, the well being division recommends avoiding “grassy, brushy or wooded areas,” contemplating use of CDC-recommended mosquito repellents, performing a pores and skin test instantly after returning indoors, and showering inside two hours of coming residence.
It additionally reminds the general public that though ticks are most lively from spring to fall, they could even be lively throughout winter when it’s hotter outdoors.
For extra info on Powassan virus and how one can forestall tick bites, click here.