We are in the prime season for ticks. A virus carried by ticks has been confirmed in several Minnesota counties. Here's where, and what we can do to protect ourselves. 

We just had our yearly checkup for the pups, and talked ticks with the vet. Are your pets protected? Are YOU?

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the virus Powassan, has been confirmed in six Minnesota counties so far this year, including Houston, Pine, Anoka, Cass, Clearwater, and Morrison.

What is Powassan?

The Powassan virus also known as POW was first documented in 1958 in Powassan, Ontario. Today, there are two known types of the POW virus.

1. Carried by the deer tick, the same tick that spreads Lyme disease. This tick is found in many wooded areas throughout Minnesota. They search for their hosts at or near ground level and grab onto a person or animal as they walk by.

2. Carried by similar tick species that usually feed on woodchucks and squirrels instead of humans. These ticks have been found in areas of Minnesota, but humans rarely come into contact with them.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can appear within 1 to 4 weeks of a tick bite.

Fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, seizures, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), Meningitis. Patients may suffer form long-term neurological symptoms such as headache and memory problems.

How can you protect yourself?

There is no vaccine, medicine OR cure for the POW, so it's best to reduce exposure to ticks, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

To read more, you can check out the Minnesota Department of Health website. 


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