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The Connecticut Division of Public Well being (DPH) not too long ago introduced the state’s second case of Powassan virus (POWV) an infection and first loss of life in 2022, in accordance with its information launch.
“This incident reminds us that residents have to take steps to forestall tick bites between now and late fall,” stated State DPH Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani.
“DPH is emphasizing the usage of insect repellant this summer season and avoiding high-risk areas, akin to tall grass, the place ticks could also be contaminated with this harmful virus.”
The affected person, who was the second reported case within the state to check constructive for the virus this yr, was between 90 and 99 years previous.
He lived in New London County with a recognized tick chew, which was eliminated two weeks previous to the onset of signs.
He started to really feel unwell in early Might, then was admitted to an area hospital complaining of fever, altered psychological standing, headache and chest ache, however was unresponsive for the subsequent two weeks and died on Might 17.
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Testing on the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the presence of antibodies to POWV.
There have been 12 instances of POWV-associated sickness reported in Connecticut between 2017 and 2021, together with two that had been deadly.
The primary case of POWV in Connecticut was a person in his 50s, a Windham County resident who grew to become unwell in late March after a recognized tick chew.
He was hospitalized with a central nervous system illness, however was launched from the hospital and recovered at house.
“Commissioner Juthani added that POWV is normally unfold by means of the chew of an contaminated deer or blacklegged tick. It takes per week to a month after being bitten by an contaminated tick to develop signs of POWV illness.” , and the virus will be transmitted in as little as quarter-hour after the tick first attaches,” the state information launch says.
Though some folks contaminated with the virus may have minimal or no signs, some will develop extreme sickness involving the central nervous system.
Extreme instances could begin with a fever, headache, and vomiting that shortly progress to confusion, lack of coordination, slurred speech, or seizures.
About 10% of instances of extreme sickness are deadly, and about half of survivors expertise long-term well being issues, in accordance with the discharge.
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There isn’t a particular remedy or vaccine for POWV, however extreme sickness could require hospitalization, respiratory help, and hydration.
To stop tick bites, the well being division recommends avoiding “grassy, brushy, or wooded areas,” contemplating utilizing CDC-recommended mosquito repellants, getting a pores and skin verify instantly after returning indoors, and bathe inside two hours of coming house.
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It additionally reminds the general public that though ticks are most lively from spring by means of fall, they may also be lively through the winter when it’s hotter exterior.
For extra data on the Powassan virus and methods to stop tick bites, click on right here.
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