#GlobalNews: “Ticks don’t simply carry Lyme illness. What it is best to find out about Powassan virus ” #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada


As the climate will get hotter and other people spend extra time open air, public well being authorities are warning individuals to look at for ticks. These little bugs can doubtlessly carry extra than simply Lyme illness.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the variety of reported instances of Powassan virus has been rising lately. Although it’s very uncommon, this virus can have doubtlessly deadly penalties.

Here’s what it is advisable find out about Powassan virus.

What is it?

Powassan virus is called after the city of Powassan, Ont., the place the primary case was reported within the 1950s.

N.S. Public Health urges residents to be cautious of ticks as temperatures enhance

It’s a virus that’s transmitted by ticks. “In most people who are infected there are no symptoms or it may be mild flu-like symptoms,” mentioned Dr. Nick Ogden, who works within the National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

However, in some instances, it may infect the nervous system, doubtlessly inflicting encephalitis – a swelling within the mind – or different mind injury. About one in 10 of those individuals will die in consequence, he mentioned, “and a reasonable number of people who survive will go on to suffer long-lasting neurological problems.”

How frequent is it?

It’s uncommon, mentioned Ogden.

“It’s a very rare pathogen,” agreed Dr. Mark Nelder, an entomologist with Public Health Ontario. “It’s very rarely seen in Canada. We’ve seen about 20 cases since 1958.”

Part of the reason being that most of the ticks that carry this virus reside within the nests or burrows of squirrels and groundhogs. “We don’t come into contact with those ticks unless we’re digging in the garden and have to dig up the nests of these mammals,” mentioned Ogden.

More ticks means a rise of Lyme illness throughout Canada — because of local weather change

But, one variant of the virus could be discovered within the extra frequent black-legged tick, the identical one which carries Lyme illness. It’s discovered above floor, which implies it’s extra prone to chunk individuals. However, solely a tiny proportion of ticks carry Powassan virus, mentioned Ogden.

In the U.S., 21 instances have been reported in 2016, largely within the northeast and Great Lakes area, bordering Canada. It is changing into extra frequent there although, which signifies that Canadian public well being authorities are watching.

Powassan virus neuroinvasive illness instances reported by state of residence, 2007–2016

Source: ArboNET, Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“It’s definitely on our radar and there is concern wherever people are exposed to ticks for sure,” mentioned Nelder.

“The ticks have only come into (Ontario) in the last 10 years mostly. They’ve been growing in numbers. So it’s a matter of time before the other pathogens start to appear.”

How do you defend your self?

The greatest technique to stop Powassan virus is identical as stopping Lyme illness: strive to not get bitten.

How to correctly take away, keep away from ticks and forestall bites

You ought to keep away from strolling in brushy, wooded areas, mentioned Nelder. And for those who do, persist with the path, put on lengthy sleeves and tuck your pants into your socks to cease ticks from getting in your pores and skin.

When you get residence after strolling in a doubtlessly tick-infested space, it’s a good suggestion to clean your garments and put them within the dryer on excessive warmth to kill any remaining bugs, he mentioned. Showering or bathing can wash off any ticks that have been crawling in your pores and skin, and it is best to examine your self rigorously for any which have latched on and take away them.

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Note: “Previously Published on: 2018-05-04 14:36:51, as ‘Ticks don’t simply carry Lyme illness. What it is best to find out about Powassan virus

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