A Rare Virus That's Worse Than Lyme Disease Is Being Spread by Ticks

That disease is the Powassan virus, which is transmitted by deer ticks just like Lyme disease. And all a tick needs is 15 minutes on your body to transmit the virus to you; Lyme disease needs a full 24 hours to do that. The risk is highest during late spring, early summer, and mid-fall, and you can show symptoms from a week to a month after being bitten. Ten percent of cases are fatal, and 50 percent of cases result in permanent neurological damage, because the virus causes inflammation in the brain. 

The reported cases have mostly come from the Northeast and the northern part of the Midwest. List of cases through 2015, per the CDC:

  • Maine (2)
  • Massachusetts (8)
  • Minnesota (20)
  • New Hampshire (1)
  • New Jersey (3)
  • New York (16)
  • Pennsylvania (1)
  • Virginia (1)
  • Wisconsin (16)

Check out more at Today.com

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