Rhode Island girl dies from tick-borne sickness

Native Information

She had Powassan virus, a uncommon illness whose incidence has been climbing in recent times.

An aged Rhode Island girl has died from a uncommon tick-borne illness known as Powassan, the state’s Division of Well being reported Tuesday. Although the illness is uncommon, well being officers are cautioning New Englanders to be vigilant about tick checks this season as there isn’t any vaccine or remedy for Powassan.

Officers stated the girl, who was over 80, developed neurological signs and died in mid-July after being uncovered to a tick carrying the illness. 

Powassan may be very uncommon, with solely 239 circumstances reported in america between 2013 and 2022, 93 of them in New England. Nonetheless, circumstances have elevated in recent times, in response to the CDC — partially because of altering land use patterns and local weather change. Exterior of the Northeast, the illness is mostly discovered within the Nice Lakes area and jap Canada. 

Early signs of Powassan embrace fever, headache, vomiting, and generalized weak spot, in response to the R.I. Division of Well being. Because it progresses, it could actually trigger meningoencephalitis, altered psychological standing, seizures, aphasia, muscular weak spot, and paralysis. 

There is no such thing as a vaccine for Powassan, and because it’s a viral an infection, antibiotics don’t work on it. The CDC counsels relaxation and fluids for gentle Powassan illness, however warns that folks with extreme circumstances typically should be hospitalized.

The easiest way to keep away from Powassan illness is by avoiding ticks, R.I. well being officers stated. Individuals spending time outdoors ought to use bug spray, put on full-coverage clothes, carry out full-body tick checks, and take away any ticks they discover. Adults must also test their kids and canine for ticks.