Powassan Virus

By Kylie McGrath

Do you have Powassan Virus?

Do you or a friend/family member have a fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, or memory loss? This could mean that you have the Powasan Virus. Contact a doctor if you have these symptoms to see if you do.

How is it spread?

The Powassan Virus is spread by Ticks. One type of POW virus is carried by Ixodes scapularis (known as the blacklegged tick or deer tick), the same tick that transmits Lyme disease, human anaplasmosis, and babesiosis. Another type of POW virus is carried by Ixodes cookei, a related tick species that usually feeds on woodchucks or other medium-sized mammals instead of humans. Make sure to check for ticks after you go outside.

How can you avoid it?

Reducing exposure to ticks Using tick repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, and doing tick checks after going outdoors are the best defense against Powassan virus disease.