Tick bites Ticks can transmit extremely rare but very dangerous Powassan virus
If you are one of those people who like to walk, hike, or stay in forests more often, there is another reason to seek protection against ticks. In addition to the dreaded infections with Lyme disease or TBE, there is also the risk of another dangerous viral disease. Researchers found that in the last decade US cases of so-called Powassan fever (Powassan virus) have continued to increase.
The scientists of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found in their study that more and more cases of rare Powassan fever have occurred in the northeastern United States in the past decade. This disease can be transmitted by ticks and at least ten percent of those infected die from the virus, according to experts at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.For example, ticks can transmit Lyme disease and cause serious health problems. US researchers are now warning that ticks can transmit another, rare disease. This leads to death in about ten percent of all cases. (Image: Ingo Sch./fotolia.com)
Dangerous tick bites increase significantly
In the last decade, about 75 cases of so-called Powassan fever have occurred in the northeastern United States. Although 2017 is considered a bad season for ticks in the US, this year we've seen 75 cases of dangerous tick bites, according to CDC experts. By comparison, the number of tick bites last year was 45 cases at that time. In 2015, there were only dangerous 27 tick bites in the same period. This suggests that Lyme disease and the Powassan fever in the future will occur even more often, warn the doctors.
At least ten percent of the patients die
Most people with the Powassan virus do not develop symptoms. The disease can also cause life-threatening brain inflammation. According to CDC researchers, at least ten percent of these cases are fatal.
What are the symptoms of Powassan fever??
The symptoms of Powassan fever usually start with fever, headache and vomiting. The disease can then quickly lead to confusion, loss of coordination and seizures, say the doctors. However, the symptoms do not include typical features such as the rash, which is often one of the symptoms of Lyme disease. If you develop these nonspecific symptoms after a tick bite, you should definitely go to medical treatment, explain the authors. Although there is no treatment that leads to the cure in Powassan fever, but can be achieved relief of symptoms.
How to avoid tick bites
The best way to prevent tick bites is to take precautionary measures when you are in wooded or high grass areas. These precautions include, according to CDC experts:
- The use of insect repellent on unclothed body parts
- Treat your clothes with insect repellent
- Wear long pants and put your pants in your socks
- Wear long-sleeved tops
- It is best to bathe or shower within two hours after you have been in nature
- Examine your whole body for ticks, especially the hair, armpits and groin
- Use washing machines and dryers to remove the parasites from your clothes
Remove ticks correctly?
Ticks climb onto your body and begin to lick your blood for 24 to 36 hours, explain the scientists. If you find a tick, you can have it removed from your doctor or remove yourself with a special tick tweezers. Be sure to remove the entire tick and never squeeze the tick's body together, otherwise the bacteria of the ticks will more easily enter your bloodstream, the authors warn. (As)