Powassan Virus: A Rare Tick-Borne Virus That Could Be Worse Than Lyme Disease! by Mindy Hudon, M.S., CCC-SLP
There’s a rare tick-borne, potentially life-threatening virus called Powassan virus (POW) in the news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 75 cases have been diagnosed over the past 10 years. POW virus causes encephalitis and meningitis, and the symptoms include:
- loss of coordination
- speech difficulties
The incubation period ranges from days to one month. There is no cure or medicine to treat POW, but patients typically require hospitalization. Here are some tips to help prevent POW:
- Avoid wooded and high-grass areas.
- Apply insect repellent to skin according to instructions.
- Shower within two hours of being outside and check for ticks.
- Check children, especially in their hair.
- Always examine pets, clothes and gear for ticks.
Learn more about Powassan virus here.