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Tick-borne Powassan virus confirmed in 6 Minnesota counties

The virus was confirmed in Anoka, Cass, Clearwater, Houston, Morrison and Pine counties.

First documented in 1958, the virus is named after the Canadian town where it first appeared. Symptoms include headache, vomiting, weakness, and in many cases, swelling of the brain.

Government statistics show that half of those infected will suffer permanent neurological damage.
Unlike Lyme disease, which is treatable and preventable, if an affected tick is quickly removed, the Powassan virus has no known treatment and can be transmitted from a tick to human in only minutes.
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**Comment**
I’ve looked everywhere but can not find why they think that deer ticks transmitting Powassan is a NEW thing.  It’s always been able to transmit it & is even called “Deer Tick Virus.” Even the CDC website states it and they’re usually the last to know about anything.
We’ve also known it takes mere minutes to transmit and being a virus it’s unique in that antibiotics won’t work – but there are many things you can do for viruses:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/03/28/combating-viruses/
The frightening aspect of Powassan of course is that the symptoms can be severe and transmission happens quickly.  I do know many patients who improved on anti-virals.  Typically this is discovered through trial and error on their part. I am not aware if anti-virals would work on Powassan, but this recent study suggests certain ones may:  https://www.contagionlive.com/news/investigators-discover-how-ticks-reproduce-powassan-virus-in-salivary-glands  Excerpt:
…the utilization of the organ cultures is likely a bona fide way to rapidly assess the efficacy of gene inactivation methods as well as drugs and small molecule inhibitors as antivirals.”

 

Coppe Lab, a CLIA certified lab, right here Waukesha has been studying Powassan for quite some time. Their pdf below states that numbers look low because only severe cases are reported. Despite this, there’s been a 375% increase in the last 5 years. 

They state the clinical picture of Powassan looks like many other tick-borne illnesses and is…

probably overlooked yet directly contributes to disease long term.

About two-thirds are subclinical but round 30% of symptomatic adults contract a severe form called meningoencephalitis. One-third of those have incomplete recovery with neuropsychiatric symptoms that become chronic. The overall fatality rate is about 1% and severity of illness increases with the age of the patient.  

In 2016, Coppe Laboratories’ Study 1 evaluated 106 patientswith suspected acute tick-borne disease and 10.4% tested positive for POWV by immunofluorescence assay. Nearly 17% of the patients with positive Lyme results also tested positive for POWV exposure. The authors concluded,

“Infection with POWV may be underdiagnosed and may contribute to the persistent symptoms often associated with Lyme disease diagnosis.”16

Coppe states the following patients should be tested for POWV:
  • Patients with a recent tick bite. Studies have shown 2–9% of ticks to be infected with POWV in Lyme endemic areas.17
  • PatientswithLymeoranothertick-borneillness who have been treated with antibiotics and have persistent symptoms consistent with post-treatment Lyme disease.
  • Patients with tick exposure who have tested negative for Lyme disease or other tick-borne illnesses who continue to have symptoms.
  • Patients with tick exposure and unexplained neurologic symptoms.
  • ChronicFatigueSyndrome(CFS)orPost-Infectious Fatigue (PIF) patients with tick exposure.

Coppe has developed both direct and indirect tests for Powassan virus and is the only commercial laboratory to offer this type of testing.  See their pdf for case studies:  http://www.coppelabs.com/wp-content/uploads/coppe-powassan_16pg_030818_lores_indiv.pdf

More on Powassan:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/13/half-of-powassan-cases-from-wisconsin-and-minnesota/