Quiet panic reigns in Alster County, New York - local residents are taking maximum measures to protect themselves from tick bites. The other day here died a man who contracted the Powassan virus from a tick, before which modern medicine is powerless. The only positive news is that this disease is extremely rare - in the United States, for example, only 12 people have died from it in the last decade. But it is upsetting that in case of infection, there is almost no chance of salvation.
The Powassan virus, named after the place of its discovery in Canada, was previously found mainly in the Primorsky Territory of Russia and several US states - Wisconsin, New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts. During the year, only a few dozen cases of infection are recorded. But everything is changing, and recently scientists have identified the virus in ticks that parasitize deer. This means that the spread of the virus can significantly increase.
This is a flavivirus virus that affects the brain and nervous system, so the fate of the survivors is worse than that of the dead. It causes the development of meningitis, encephalitis, loss of coordination and muscle control, seizures, memory loss, mental disorders. There is no targeted treatment for the Powassan virus, antibiotics are powerless here, it remains only to provide the infected with supportive therapy, hoping for the body's endurance.
The main danger of the Powassan virus is in the rate of development of the disease - it begins to be active within 15 minutes after a tick bite. After a week, which can occur without symptoms, the person is already deeply ill. Therefore, the most effective control method is to minimize the likelihood of a tick bite. This will help protect against other infections as well.