Ticks Infected with Dangerous Brain Swelling Virus Found in New York
Lyme disease isn't the only thing you have to worry about with ticks. Cases of a rare, but deadly disease are on the rise in New York.
The Powassan Virus is carried by infected deer ticks - the same tick that carries Lyme disease - and passed to humans through a tick bite. Powassan, which in some cases has been fatal, attacks the nervous system and can cause dangerous brain swelling.
There is currently no treatment for the virus, which according to the CDC kills around 10 percent of people who become sick. Half are left with permanent neurological problems.
While rare, cases of the deadly disease are on the rise in New York State. The CDC says reported cases have grown from just 1 three years ago, to 6 in 2017. This year's wet weather has led experts to predict an "explosion" in the tick population for 2019.
The best protection against ticks and the diseases they carry is prevention:
- Using tick repellent; remember to spray clothing as well
- Wearing long sleeves and pants
- Avoiding wooded and overgrown areas
- Check thoroughly for ticks when returning from outdoors
It's also important to protect your pets with an effective flea and tick repellent.