What is powassan virus?
Powassan virus is a rare virus which is transmitted to people through the bite of infected midges called biting midges. It belongs to the species Orthopoxvirus, of the Viral NI family. It was first identified in 1998 in the province of Ontario, Canada, from two cases of encephalitis which were referred to as Powassan virus encephalitis.
Powassan Virus is a prion virus, which is considered to be “mushy” in structure. This virus is not harmful to humans but still causes meningoencephalitis in humans, and encephalitis in some rare cases. The Powassan virus (and also the Panleukopenia virus which causes the “Plague of Lumberjacks”) is the most common cause of viral encephalitis in Canada.
How to prevent powassan virus
The winter is the best season to enjoy the snow and ice. But with snow comes the danger of getting the Powassan virus. The cold temperature can protect you from the virus. However, it might be too cold for people with a weaker immune systems. So, this is the time when you should be cautious of your health and take necessary precautions. Wear warm clothing, Wear protective clothing. Wear a hat, cover the nose and mouth and cover the exposed skin. These small gestures could protect you from the virus. You can also put on gloves and socks to avoid catching the virus.
Being a viral infection, Powassan Virus infections are easily preventable by practicing safe habits: Keep tick products on your body. Take antibiotics if you are in an area where ticks thrive. Wear rubber gloves in your yard. Do not park your car in tall grasses or brush areas.
How to prevent Powassan Virus?
It is very important to take preventive measures against Powassan virus. The vaccine has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adults aged 50 or above.
Maintain a healthy diet
Consume a healthy diet to prevent you from contracting the virus. Avoid junk food, alcohol and fried food. These foods cause you to have an increased appetite and a rapid heartbeat.
Symptoms of Powassan virus
Powassan virus is mainly caused by a toxin, the capsular polysaccharide, which is found in the bite of infected midges. Some of the symptoms which can appear with Powassan virus include, headache, fever, vomiting, fatigue, confusion and convulsions. People who have this virus can die within hours if they don’t get proper medical attention.
Symptoms of powassan virus to be Seen
- Loss of Consciousness
Usually the rash appears within one to two weeks after the bite of an infected tick. Most people with Powassan virus are asymptomatic (experiencing no symptoms) and don’t realize they have the infection. Powassan Virus is a virus spread to humans by the bite of an infected tick. People usually become ill 15 to 30 days after the bite and can be asymptomatic. An infected tick can transmit the virus for several weeks after the initial bite.
Where are the Powassan virus symptoms more common?
Powassan virus is most commonly diagnosed in people older than 60. Chances of getting Powassan virus are increased in people who work with wild animals, hunt, camp, or spend time in rural areas with dense forest or grassland.
Diagnosis of powassan virus
In order to diagnose a person with powassan virus, you need to follow the normal health check up methods to find the sign of a virus in the body. Blood Test In order to find the sign of the virus you need to give a sample of the blood.
Lumbar puncture: Once you found the sign of the virus, you will have to go for lumbar puncture (spinal tap). This is done to take a sample of spinal fluid. Treatment for Powassan virus The treatment will depend on the severity of the virus. The treatment will be given in the phase:
Antiviral Drugs: Antiviral drugs are given to patients when the symptoms are not controlling and symptoms like fever and headache are making a patient sad.
What are the risks of Powassan Virus?
Powassan virus is a rare but severe viral infection. It is most commonly found in Canada and the United States, and has been found in Europe.
Powassan virus, is considered a rare infection, with only 250 or so reported cases each year. It causes a rare type of encephalitis, called an encephalopathy, where the brain is exposed to virus, in the majority of patients. It occurs in several forms. In a mild form of the virus, called Powassan virus disease (PVD), there may be mild symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, weakness of the limbs, seizures, trouble speaking, hearing loss, and seizures. In a more severe form of the virus, called Powassan virus disease, PVD can cause seizures, brain swelling, and, ultimately, death.
What are the Treatment options for Powassan Virus?
According to this article, it is rare that Powassan virus causes severe disease, usually the symptoms are similar to those caused by a common virus such as colds or flu. There are two types of tests for the diagnosis of this virus, and one is done by doctors and another one is done by doctors and pathologists.
If there is no swelling of the brain and signs of neurologic damage, patients can continue with their normal life and even go back to their normal jobs.
Powassan virus (POWV) is a rare viral disease that is transmitted through contact with infected ticks. These ticks are only found in specific regions of the northeastern and Midwestern United States, and the concern is it may infect people and spread more widely. If it can be found and eliminated from these areas.
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