“L'identificazione di un residente del Connecticut con una malattia associata al virus Powassan sottolinea la necessità di intraprendere azioni per prevenire le punture di zecca da ora fino al tardo autunno,” ha detto il dott. Manisha Juthani, who is the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Health.
“Using insect repellent, avoiding areas where ticks are likely, e controllo carefully for ticks after being outside can reduce the chance of you or your children being infected with this virus.”
Powassan virus, first discovered in Powassan, Ontario in 1958, is usually spread through the bite of an infected black-legged or deer tick, officially known as Ixodes scapularis, and can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes after a tick bite, but it can take a week up to one month to develop symptoms, per il rilascio.
This is in contrast to Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne disease in the United States, which is caused by a bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi and usually transmitted after 36-48 hours after the bite of usually the black-legged tick, secondo i Centri per il controllo e la prevenzione delle malattie (Centro per la prevenzione e il controllo delle malattie).
Human infections secondary to the Powassan virus infections have been recognized in the United States, Canada, and Russia, with the cases mostly from northeastern states and the Great Lakes region in late spring, early summer and mid-fall when ticks are most active, per il Centro per la prevenzione e il controllo delle malattie.
Fra 2011-20, in addition to Connecticut, the following states have segnalato cases to the CDC: Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Carolina del Nord, Nord Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
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Powassan cases are rare, con 20 reported in 2020 to the CDC, but the reported cases are crescente, whereas usually 30,00 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the CDC each year, but the true number is likely closer to 476,000 each year because of underreporting, per il agenzia.
People who work outdoors and engage in recreational activities in endemic areas for the virus are at increased risk of the infection.
The Connecticut patient who contracted Powassan virus is a male patient in his 50s who started to feel sick during the fourth week of March after a tick bite. He was later hospitalized with a central nervous system disease with laboratory confirmed evidence by the CDC of antibodies to the virus, but is now discharged and recovering at home, according to the health department’s release.
Most people infected with Powassan virus will sviluppare mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all, but some will experience severe illness affecting the central nervous system, which consists of the spinal cord and cervello, per the health Dipartimento.