Rare Tickborne Illness Found in New Fairfield
About a month ago, we told you about the increased tick population in Connecticut so far this season.
Now we're getting information from New Fairfield town officials that one of the town's residents has been diagnosed with a rare tick borne illness called Powassan virus. The virus is rare and can be potentially fatal.
According to the Connecticut State Department of Public Health, this is not the first person in the state to contract the illness. The other person in the state became ill with similar symptoms back in April, was hospitalized and is now back at home recovering.
The Connecticut Department of Health is also reporting that the two individuals who have reported cases so far this season were between the ages of 50 and 79, the latest from New Fairfield, and the other person infected was from New Haven. These are the 11th and 12th cases of this specific tick illness that have been diagnosed in the state of Connecticut since 2016.
As reported on apnews.com, most people who contract the virus suffer no serious issues, however in some cases, the virus can be fatal with symptoms that include fever, vomiting, headaches, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination and also seizures. Almost half of those who have been infected with the virus experience some type of longer term health issues. Right now, there is no vaccine available to combat the illness.
The Connecticut Department of Health has issued some guidance for people to follow in order to reduce the chances of infection:
- Use Insect Repellent
- Avoid Areas Where Ticks Are Prevalent
- Wear Protective Clothing Like Long Sleeve Shirts And Long Pants When In Wooded Areas
- Check For Ticks Immediately After Being Outside In Areas Where Ticks Could Be Present
For more information on Powassan Virus check out the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention website.