Topic ID #29442 - posted 7/16/2013 9:23 AM

Black-Legged Ticks Linked to Encephalitis in New York State

Jennifer Palmer

I usually post news items to the other forum but make an exception for these kinds of articles. A short excerpt:

Black-Legged Ticks Linked to Encephalitis in New York State

July 15, 2013 — The number of tick-borne illnesses reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on the rise. Lyme disease leads the pack, with some 35,000 cases reported annually. In the Northeast, the black-legged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) that spread Lyme disease also infect people with other maladies, among them anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and -- as a new paper in the journal Parasites and Vectors reports -- Powassan encephalitis.

Powassan encephalitis is caused by Powassan virus and its variant, deer tick virus. The virus is spread to people by infected ticks, and can cause central nervous system disruption, encephalitis, and meningitis. There is a 10-15% fatality rate in reported cases, with many survivors suffering long-term neurological damage.

Later on in the article there is another terrifying quote:

Adding to the problem: unlike Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and babesiosis -- which take feeding black-legged ticks hours to transmit -- deer tick virus transmission can occur in just 15 minutes. This leaves very little 'grace period' for removing ticks, and underscores the importance of vigilance in tick habitat.

More here

How many of us have been in the field knowing they are crawling on your somewhere but don't have the time, privacy (or mirror!) to check your whole body. "Ah, I'll just check for ticks later when I'm back at the hotel before I hop in the shower." This is scary stuff.



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