Powassan Virus- is a tick borne encephalitis originally discovered in the town of Powassan, Ontario in 1958. In mouse studies it has been reported the virus can be transmitted within 15 minutes of an infected tick bite. Powassan Virus symptoms can begin 1 to 4 weeks after a tick bite (1-2 weeks is typical).
Symptoms- can be mild to non-existant and sometimes begin with acute onset of fever. Muscle weakness, dizziness, headaches, vomiting, chills, fatigue, labored breathing, stiff neck, confusion, speech difficulties, memory loss, nausea, paralysis, encephalitis and meningitis. Approximately 15% of those infected with the virus will experience severe symptoms, with 50% developing chronic neurological problems.
Diagnosis- There are no commercially available tests on the market at this time. (Blood can be sent to the Centers for Disease Control for testing.)
Treatment- There is no recommended treatment for Powassan Virus. Supportive therapy is recommended for the various symptoms. There is no vaccine available to prevent Powassan Virus.
Abstracts & Articles
Regional Public Health Institute, Ravne na Koroškem, Slovenia.
Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) developed in 3 persons in Slovenia who drank raw milk; a fourth person, who had been vaccinated against TBE, remained healthy. TBE virus RNA was detected in serum and milk of the source goat. Persons in TBE-endemic areas should be encouraged to drink only boiled/pasteurized milk and to be vaccinated.
TBEV, tick-borne encephalitis virus, goat milk, raw goat milk, Slovenia, viruses
PMID: 23697658 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC3647507 Free PMC Article
Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Apr;19(4):635-7. doi: 10.3201/eid1904.121450.
Tick-borne encephalitis virus in horses, Austria, 2011.
University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria.
An unexpectedly high infection rate (26.1%) of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV) was identified in a herd of 257 horses of the same breed distributed among 3 federal states in Austria. Young age (p<0.001) and male sex (p=0.001) were positively associated with infection.
Austria, Flaviviridae, flavivirus, horses, infection, prevalence, tick-borne encephalitis virus, tickborneencephalitis, vector-borne infections, viruses
PMID: 23631894 [PubMed - in process] PMCID: PMC3647421 Free PMC Article
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Jun;88(6):1159-62. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0586. Epub 2013 Apr 8.
Seroprevalence of Powassan virus in New England deer, 1979-2010.
University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM, USA. email@example.com
Powassan virus and its subtype, deer tick virus, are closely related tick-borne flaviviruses that circulate in North America. The incidence of human infection by these agents appears to have increased in recent years. To define exposure patterns among white-tailed deer, potentially useful sentinels that are frequently parasitized by ticks, we screened serum samples collected during 1979-2010 in Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont for neutralizing antibody by using a novel recombinant deer tick virus-West Nile virus chimeric virus. Evidence of exposure was detected in all three states. Overall our results demonstrate that seroprevalence is variable in time and space, suggesting that risk of exposure to Powassan virus is similarly variable.
PMID: 23568288 [PubMed - indexed for MEDL