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The Connecticut Division of Public Well being (DPH) just lately introduced the state’s second case of Powassan virus an infection (POWV) and first fatality in 2022, in line with their press launch.
“This incident reminds us that residents need to take actions to prevent tick bites now through the late fall,” mentioned Dr. Manisha Juthani, who’s the commissioner of the state’s DPH.
“DPH stresses the use of insect repellent this summer and avoiding high-risk areas, such as tall grass, where ticks may be found. It’s also important to check carefully for ticks after being outside which can reduce the chance of you and your family members being infected with this dangerous virus.”
The feminine affected person, who was the state’s second reported case who examined optimistic for the virus this yr, was between the age of 90 to 99.
She lived in New London County with a identified tick chew, which was eliminated two weeks previous to onset of signs.
She began to not really feel nicely in early Could, then was later admitted to a neighborhood hospital complaining of fever, altered psychological standing, headache and chest ache, however grew to become unresponsive over the subsequent two weeks and died on Could 17.
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Testing carried out on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of antibodies to POWV.
12 instances of POWV related sickness had been reported in Connecticut throughout 2017 to 2021, together with two which had been deadly.
Connecticut’s first case with POWV was a male in his 50s, who was a resident of Windham County who grew to become sick in late March after a identified tick chew.
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 usually spread through the bite of an infected black-legged or deer tick. It takes a week to one month after the bite from an infected tick to develop symptoms of POWV disease, and the virus can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes after the tick first attaches,” the state’s press launch mentioned.
Though some folks contaminated 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.
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There isn’t a particular therapy or vaccine for POWV, however extreme sickness might require hospitalization, respiratory help and hydration.
To forestall 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 verify 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 might even be lively throughout winter when it’s hotter outdoors.
For extra info on Powassan virus and learn how to stop tick bites, click here.