An inhabitant of Maine has been infected with a rare but usually severe tick-borne disease that can cause brain infections and meningitis, and in some cases, death.
] The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced in a Wednesday press release that the unidentified resident had symptoms of human Powassan encephalitis disease ̵
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The Powassan virus – which belongs to a group of viruses that can cause infections of the brain (encephalitis) or membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis ), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – is usually transmitted to humans after being bitten by an infected groundhog or deer tick. According to the federal agency, those living or working near bush or forest areas are more likely to be exposed to potentially infected ticks.
Most cases of the Powassan virus – discovered by the CDC in Maine in 1958, for the first time in Powassan, Ontario – have occurred in the Northeast and the Great Lakes areas of the US
. People who are infected with the virus usually experience fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss. There may be short-term neurological problems.
"The symptoms can occur anytime from one week to one month after the tick bite. There is no specific treatment, but people with severe Powassan virus disease often need to be hospitalized. "
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Patients usually require assistance in breathing and treating brain pains, but there is no drug to treat the virus, nor a vaccine for prevention, and noisy The Federal Health Office lead to about 10 percent of the cases to death.
Powassan virus rarely occurs On average, seven cases are reported annually in the US. In Maine, eleven cases of the Powassan virus have occurred since 2000.
Alexandria Hein of Fox News has contributed to this report.