Tick-Borne Powassan Virus Can Be Deadly Many of the patients who develop symptoms need to be hospitalized.

By Lonnie Marcum

T ick-borne Powassan virus has been gaining attention after sending former North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan into a 43-day coma this past year.

Unfortunately, others were not so lucky. Powassan has reportedly caused at least three deaths in late 2016.

Powassan virusAfter being hospitalized for eight months, Senator Hagan was released and was said to be recovering.

While Powassan virus (POWV) was discovered nearly 60 years ago, many people are learning of it for the first time. Of special concern: it can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes by the same tick that carries Lyme disease.

Because POWV has been considered so rare, with only 75 cases reported in the United States over the past 10 years, very little is known about it—until now.

A new study conducted by the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin demonstrates that POWV may be much more prevalent than previously thought. Of 95 patients tested for suspected tick-borne disease, 66% showed evidence of current or prior Lyme infection.

Of those patients who tested positive for Lyme disease, 17% had serologic evidence of acute POWV infection. Considering there are an estimated 300,000 cases of Lyme disease per year, POWV may affect more patients than we know………. Join or login below to continue reading.

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