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Deadly Tick Carrying Brain Swelling Virus Found In Upstate New York

Cindy McMullen/TSM
Cindy McMullen/TSM

As the warmer weather arrives, a deadly threat could be on the rise in New York: The Powassan virus spread by ticks.

This disease is spread by the same deer tick that carries Lyme disease. Powassan, which in some cases has been fatal. What this disease does, it attacks the nervous system and can cause a dangerous brain swelling.

According to WPDH, the most reported cases of the Powassan virus have been in New York, Wisconsin and Minnesota, in the most recent years.The virus has also recently been found in New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

“You basically feel nonspecific flu-like stuff,” Dr. Jennifer Lyons, chief of the Division of Neurological Infections and Inflammatory Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston told CNN. “Maybe you have a little rash on your skin, but almost certainly, you’ll have a fever and the headache.”

There is currently no treatment for the virus. It kills around 10% of people who become sick. Half are left with permanent neurological problems. Symptoms can include, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss. Contact local health officials ASAP if you feel you may have this.

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