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The Powassan Virus has Reared its Ugly Head

For many of us here in New Hampshire, the Powassan virus is more than likely something foreign-sounding. The reason for this is that it’s not a huge name in tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease. That’s why Mosquito Squad likes to keep citizens in our area aware of new and potentially emerging threats that ticks present. After all, our goal is to keep your yard free of biting ticks and mosquitoes. We’re a tick’s worst nightmare.

In a recent article by the Washington Post, the Powassan virus was found for the first time in an infant. The reason this is news, other than being found in a new state (in this case Connecticut), most tests in our area don’t cover the Powassan virus. Additionally, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Virginia reported their first Powassan virus disease cases during the past seven years.

The Ixodes scapularis ticks that can transmit the virus are often very small, he said, from about the size of a pinhead up to the size of an apple seed, and can be easily missed. The tick is also the primary vector of Lyme disease. The disease can show no symptoms or the symptoms can be extreme. Powassan virus symptoms include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • loss of coordination
  • speech difficulties
  • seizures

In addition to the symptoms listed above, Powassan can also cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and meningitis and is actually fatal in about 10% of cases. Even more disconcerting is the fact that there’s currently no cure for Powassan virus disease. The best method of approach is to steer clear of coming into contact with ticks.

Keeping your yard free of ticks and mosquitoes is what we do, and we take pride in our ability to do so with an extremely high degree of effectiveness. To find out more about Powassan virus in our area and how to keep your yard tick free all season long, call us at 603.380.4541, email us at [email protected] or fill out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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