Tick virus poses danger to humans

Ticks carrying a virus dangerous to humans

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Lyme disease isn't the only illness you can pick up from a tick bite.

Experts also warn people could suffer from a deadly virus named Powassan. Powassan is carried by the same tick that harbors Lyme disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, victims can suffer from inflammation of the brain and meningitis anywhere from a week to a month after they are bitten with a tick that has the disease.

RELATED: Protect yourself from infected ticks carrying life-threatening Powassan virus

The CDC said over the last 10 years, there have been 75 cases of Powassan reported in the United States.

Some tips to avoid contracting the illness include staying out of bushy and high grass areas, using insect repellant, and checking pets for ticks.

Dr. Seth Mavrich works at Dupont Veterinary Clinic in Northwest DC. He said some of the best places to check pets for ticks are around their ears or under their armpits.

"I do tell owners though that flea and tick prevention is important year round, because to be honest with you, I find ticks even in the winter," he said.

 

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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