Severe tick-born Powassan virus has experts worried about possible spread

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Experts are warning of a serious disease emerging in the United States that is transmitted by the same tick that carries Lyme disease.

Powassan virus is a far rarer and more deadly pathogen than the bacterium that produces Lyme, according to TODAY. The virus causes inflammation in the brain, which leads to death in 10 percent of cases and permanent neurological damage in 50 percent. There is no treatment.

Through 2015, 75 cases of the severe disease have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last week, a 5-month-old baby from Connecticut was diagnosed with Powassan virus.

The majority of cases are in Minnesota, New York, and Wisconsin, according to CDC data.

The disease was first reported in the 1950s, and was not considered a big threat at first because the tick carrying it did not bite humans very often. Now that the deer tick is a carrier, the threat to humans has skyrocketed.

Read more at TODAY.com. 

NBC4i.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s