Powassan Virus: There’s More to Ticks than Lyme Disease
Tick borne disease tends to flag up immediate thoughts of Lyme disease. It’s the most common one right? The one everyone talks about. But what about those other nasty illnesses that these tiny arachnids can spread.
Powassan virus is a tick-borne flavivirus that was first discovered in Ontario in 1956. Powassan virus is known to be carried by the Ixodes scapularis, or the black-leg tick, which is also known as the deer tick. That’s the same vector that carries Lyme disease, Anaplasma, and Babesia. It’s a relatively newly discovered virus, and so we don’t know exactly how prevalent it is in humans in the United States, but we do know that about 7% of ticks in endemic areas for Lyme disease also carry Powassan virus…
Studies continue into how prevalent this disease is in humans in the United States and the areas most likely to be at risk.
When you venture into woodland areas or places likely for these tiny pests to feel at home, ensure that you dress appropriately to protect yourself from ticks. All it takes is one bite!
Beginning in early February, efforts to measure deer tick movement will begin with the capture of white-tailed deer in seven different Howard County locations. After being fitted with a GPS collar, scientists will track the released deer’s movement between residential areas and parklands. Understanding deer movement will key further efforts to control tick populations.
As scientists continue with their efforts to control the tick population, why not help them out by investing in your own tick control. Every contribution helps in reducing the transmission of these potentially life changing diseases.