A Connecticut man is recovering at home after contracting the rare Powassan virus, state officials report.
The Connecticut Public Health Department (DPH) confirmed last week that a man between the ages of 50 and 59 fell ill in March and suffered a severe illness that affected his central nervous system and required hospitalization.
It is the second high-profile case of a rare tick-borne virus in the region, and Maine reported death from the Powassan virus just three weeks ago.
A very deadly virus attacks a person’s brain and nervous system and there is no vaccine or known effective treatments or medications.
Connecticut officials report a man in his 50s in the state suffered from a rare case of the Powassan virus in March. They confirmed that he was bitten by a tick, a common cause of a rare disease (photo)
Black-legged ticks are generally associated with a rare brain infection. The CDC reports that they are most common in the northeastern region of the United States, which includes Connecticut and Maine
The virus is transmitted from animals to humans usually by tick or bush stings. Officials have confirmed that the man was bitten by a tick, and warn others to take precautions.
“The identification of Connecticut residents with the Powassan virus-related disease underscores the need to take action to prevent tick bites from now until late autumn,” Dr Manisha Juthani, commissioner (DPH), said in a statement.
‘Using insect repellents, avoiding areas where ticks are likely to occur and carefully checking for ticks after you are out can reduce the chance of you or your children becoming infected with the virus.’
The virus is most commonly associated with black-footed ticks, which are most common in the northeastern regions of the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
A person will often feel the symptoms of the virus somewhere between a week and a month after a tick bite.
About one in ten people infected with the virus will die, officials said. Half of those infected are likely to experience some sort of long-term symptom, officials say.
Many who are infected may not even know it, because most cases are completely asymptomatic.
Last month, the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) reported that an unnamed man had died from the virus, the first case reported this year in the United States.
A Maine man reportedly suffered severe neurological symptoms as a result of his infection, one of the normal symptoms of the virus.
Experts at the Maine CDC have warned that people who could camp or hike in a wooded or bushy area should be tired of ticks.
There are no treatments or drugs for the Powassan virus, an extremely deadly brain infection that causes significant nervous system and neurological symptoms and kills about 10% of those infected (photo file)
People should avoid getting into deep noise in the state, and stick to fortified trails and routes instead.
The person should also be careful to cover themselves so as not to be bitten, and should also use a bug spray to repel all creatures.
If a person enters an area where there is a high risk of tick exposure, they should be regularly checked for bites and then take a shower and wash and wash their clothes thoroughly.
‘Ticks are active and are currently looking for a host to bite,’ CDC Maine Director Nirav D. Shah was quoted as saying by WMTW.
‘I urge people and visitors to Maine to take steps to prevent tick bites.’
The virus was named after the city where it was discovered, Powassanu, Ontario, where it was detected in a boy in 1958.
It causes about 25 infections in the United States each year.