The primary travel-related loss of life from a uncommon tick-borne virus has been recorded in Maryland after a person contracted it in Canada.
The presence of Powassan virus in a person who traveled to Maryland was confirmed by the division on September 22. Powassan is an sickness unfold by the chunk of an contaminated tick, in response to a Friday information launch from the state’s division of well being.
“We’re very saddened to report the primary loss of life because of the Powassan virus in our state,” Deputy Secretary for Public Well being Companies Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman stated within the launch. “Powassan may be very uncommon, and that is the first-ever case recorded in Maryland. The person contracted the virus in Canada and returned to Maryland afterward.”
Kalyanaraman stated well being officers don’t consider there’s a risk of native transmission of Powassan in Maryland however urge everybody “to follow good habits when in areas that would have ticks or keep away from these areas altogether.”
A resident of Gardiner, New York, grew to become the primary loss of life in that state in August, CNN beforehand reported.
The Powassan virus is unfold to folks by the chunk of an contaminated tick, and though nonetheless uncommon, reported instances of individuals sick with the virus have elevated in recent times, in response to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention.
The virus will not be “transmitted from individual to individual, besides in uncommon situations by blood transfusion,” in response to the CDC.
The virus may cause fever, headache, vomiting, lack of coordination and reminiscence and speech issues, nevertheless, it typically doesn’t current with any signs, the CDC stated. It might additionally trigger encephalitis and meningitis.
In 2022, states reported 44 instances of Powassan virus illness to the CDC. Seven folks died. To this point in 2023, 28 instances have been reported to the CDC.
Most instances happen within the northeast and Nice Lakes areas from late spring by way of mid-fall when ticks are most energetic, the CDC stated. There aren’t any vaccines to stop the virus or medicines to deal with it, in response to the CDC.