The mainstream media are obsessed with the Zika virus this summer, and for good reason. Zika is a dangerous virus that can kill and at this stage there is no vaccine or treatment. But a new virus is circling the United States, mainly in New England and the Great Lakes region. This is the Powassan virus, and it can and will kill you. Here’s what you need to know:
The Powassan virus spreads quickly. Once you’ve been bitten by an infected tick, it’s only a matter of hours before the first symptoms appear. The virus causes inflammation of the brain and membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Symptoms include vomiting, confusion, difficulty starting, fever, headache, and even seizures.
About 10% of cases result in death and, although rare, usually only 50 cases per year, a massive epidemic is expected to occur. Anyone working in the wilderness or camping, or planning to send their children to a summer camp should be warned of this threat.
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So how do we protect our families from this terrible virus?
Staying away from ticks is not too difficult. Prevention against ticks is very basic and not very difficult. Often you only need a pair of socks and a lint roller. Just keep the roll with you and pass it on your clothes once in a while. You will be amazed at how many ticks end up on the roll.