Powassan Virus

Powassan (POW) virus is related to some mosquito-borne viruses, including West Nile virus. The virus is named after Powassan, Ontario, where it was first discovered in 1958. Two types of Powassan virus have been found in North America.

There are two types:

One type of POW virus is carried by Ixodes scapularis (deer tick).

The second 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. I. cookei has also been found in wooded areas in Minnesota.

Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)
Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).
loss of coordination
speech difficulties
memory loss

There is no known treatment for Powassan yet.


Learn more at http://diseasemaps.usgs.gov/pow_us_human.html


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