"Good News" Magazine Sept. '17 GN issue to publish online - Page 46

H ealthy L iving -- pages 44 to 48 To your Health! Timely, helpful, and realistic info you can apply to improve your life through better health! POWASSAN VIRUS Powassan (POW) virus is transmitted to humans by infected ticks. Approximately 75 cases of POW virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. Most cases have occurred in the Northeast and Great Lakes region. Signs and symptoms of infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. You can reduce your risk of being infected with POW virus by using tick repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, and doing thorough tick checks after spending time outdoors. If you think you or a family member may have POW virus disease, it is important to consult your healthcare provider immediately. SYMPTOMS: Many people who become infected with Powassan (POW) virus do not develop any symptoms. The incubation period (time from tick bite to onset of illness) ranges from about 1 week to 1 month. POW virus can infect the central nervous system and cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningi- tis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, and seizures. Approximate- ly half of survivors have permanent neurological symptoms, such as recurrent headaches, muscle wasting and memory problems. Approximately 10% of POW virus encephalitis cases are fatal.  TREATMENT: There are no vaccines or medications to treat or prevent POW virus infection. If you think you or a family member may have POW virus disease, see your health care provider for evaluation and diag- nosis. Persons with severe POW illnesses often need to be hospitalized. Treatment may include respiratory support, intravenous fluids, and medications to reduce swelling in the brain. TRANSMISSION: Powassan (POW) virus is an RNA virus that belongs to the genus Flavivirus. It is related to West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, and Tick-borne encephalitis viruses. Humans become infected with POW virus from the bite of an infected tick. Humans do not develop high enough concentrations of POW virus in their bloodstreams to infect feeding ticks. Humans are therefore considered to be “dead-end” hosts of the virus. POW virus is maintained in a cycle between ticks and small-to-medium-sized rodents. In North America, three main enzootic cycles occur: Ixodes cookei and woodchucks, Ixodes marxi and squirrels, and Ixodes scapularis and white-footed mice. Ixodes cookei and Ixodes marxi rarely bite humans. Ixodes scapularis often bite humans and is the primary vector of Lyme disease. There are two types of POW virus in the United States. The first type, often called lineage 1 POW virus, ap- pears to be associated with Ixodes cookei or Ixodes marxi ticks. The other type, lineage 2 POW virus is some- times called Deer tick virus, and is associated with Ixodes scapularis ticks. Both lineages have been linked to human disease. PREVENTION: Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Powassan virus disease, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tickborne infections. Pine Creek Podiatry 345 East Central Avenue, Avis • 570-753-4335 William J. Schlorff, D.P.M. Board Certified A merican B oard of P odiatric S urgery Source: cdc.org. FEET HURT? C all today ! O ffice H ours B y A ppointment 44 “Good News” -- September -- www.bearcountrygoodnews.com