PRO/AH/EDR> Powassan virus encephalitis – USA (02): (ME) fatal

PRO/AH/EDR> Powassan virus encephalitis – USA (02): (ME) fatal


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 18 May 2023
Source: WGME [edited]

The Maine CDC says a Sagadahoc County resident has died of Powassan
virus disease. This is the 1st recorded case and death from Powassan
virus in Maine this year [2023]. The CDC says the adult victim
developed neurologic symptoms and died in the hospital. Officials say
the person was likely infected in Maine.

Powassan virus is rare. Maine has recorded 15 cases since 2015,
including 4 in 2022.

This is the 3rd recorded Powassan death in Maine since 2015.

People can be infected by the Powassan virus through the bite of an
infected deer tick [blacklegged tick, Ixodes scapularis] or
woodchuck tick [Ixodes cookie (groundhog tick) and _Ixodes marxi_
(squirrel tick)].

The CDC says many people infected with Powassan do not have symptoms.
For those who develop symptoms, the time from tick bite to feeling
unwell can range from one week to one month. Symptoms may include
fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures or memory
loss. Some people may experience serious neurologic problems, like
brain or spinal cord inflammation. About 10% of people with severe
disease die. If you experience any of these symptoms after a tick
bite, call a health care provider as soon as possible.

[Byline: Matthew Bourgault]

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