Rare Powassan Virus Diagnosed in Maine
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England radio personality and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
Tick season in Maine seems to get worse and worse each year. Dogs come in from walks with dozens hiding within their fur. Hikers return to do an entire strip search. Ticks don't discriminate.
The most commonly discussed tick-borne illness is Lyme disease among pets and humans. According to Maine.Gov, there have been 207 cases of Lyme disease reported for 2021 alone, 212 for Anaplasmosis, and 28 for Babesiosis.
One of the more rare tick-borne illnesses is the Powassan virus.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the virus can be spread through groundhog, squirrel, or deer ticks.
Early symptoms that can take a week to a month to experience can include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness. More severe symptoms and diseases can develop such as a brain infection, meningitis, and seizures.
The CDC estimates that 1 in 10 people with severe Powassan virus will die.
Maine Powassan Virus
The Associated Press reports that the Maine Center for Disease Control confirmed that a case was found in Waldo County and the individual is recovering in the hospital. The AP also notes that there are only 25 cases of the virus in the United States each year and Maine has only had 9 in the last 11 years.
Whenever you venture outside into grassy or wooded areas always check yourself for ticks. Check your hair, the folds of your clothes, your shoes, and your pets.