A Connecticut resident has died of a rare virus after being bitten by a tick, the state’s public health department has announced.
The resident – a 90-year-old woman – died May 17 of Powassan virus (POWV) infection due to a tick bite. Two weeks after the tick was removed, the woman experienced a number of symptoms, including fever, altered mental status, headache, chills, chills, chest pain and nausea.
The DPH said the patient was admitted to a local hospital but her condition worsened and she was unresponsive for two weeks before her death. POWV was confirmed as the cause by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Connecticut also reported another case of POWV in March where the patient, a man in his 50s, recovered from the disease.
“This incident reminds us that residents should take steps to prevent tick bites until late fall,” DPH Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani said in a statement. “DPH is emphasizing the use of insect repellents this summer and avoiding high risk areas, such as tall grass, where ticks can be found. It is also important to check carefully for ticks after being outdoors, which can reduce the risk of you and your family members becoming infected with this dangerous virus.”
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It is the second fatal case of POWV in the United States this year after the Maine CDC announced the country’s first death in April.
“The ticks are active and looking for a host to bite right now,” Maine CDC director Nirav Shah said at the time. “I urge Maine residents and visitors to take steps to avoid tick bites.”
According to the CDC, there are no vaccines to prevent POWV or drugs to treat it. However, a number of precautionary measures can be taken to avoid ticks.
To avoid exposure to ticks, according to the National Institutes of Health, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs and tuck your pants into your socks or put tape around any openings in clothing. Wear light-colored clothing to see if a tick is on you. When in the woods, stay in the center of the trail, as ticks tend to like shrubs and bushes. Use a chemical repellent containing DEET, permethrin or picaridin.
After going inside, check yourself, your children and your pets for ticks. If you find one, use tweezers to remove it as soon as possible.
It takes a week to a month after the bite of an infected tick to develop symptoms of POWV disease, and the virus can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes after the tick first attaches, according to the health department. from Connecticut. Take a shower as soon as you can and wash your clothes on high heat to kill any remaining ticks.