[fear mongering post for the year. I really hate ticks, and I cant believe no one has told me about this virus before]
I love making exclamations like that.
First time I had Indian food: WHY ARE WE NOT EATING THIS ALL THE TIME??
When I learned hand-to-hand combat: WHY ARE WE NOT TEACHING THIS TO EVERY FEMALE??
When I learned about Powassan virus (like, yesterday): WHY HAVENT I LEARNED ABOUT THIS BEFORE??
Powassan virus is rare, but TERRIFYING, and its becoming less rare.
Heres the deal– you all have heard of flaviviruses before. West Nile, Dengue, Yellow Fever, etc. All these guys are spread by mosquitoes.
Apparently there is another flavivirus that is spread, by regular ol ticks, in Canada/US: Powassan virus.
DO NOT WANT!!!
Get this– If you are bitten by a tick with Powassan virus, it only takes ~15 minutes to transmit the virus. There are no/rarely any acute signs of illness. So up to three weeks later, allovasudden, you get hella sick. And you have no friggen idea why, because you were bitten by the tick weeks ago, and you probably totally forgot about it. And what is hella sick, exactly? Encephalitis. 10-15% of people die from it. ~50%, even if they survive, have permanent neurological problems. There is no vaccine. There is no treatment. You just either die, and even if you live, the odds are pretty good that you will have life-long problems.
“WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME ABOUT THIS???” some of you all might be screaming. “WHAT CAN I DO TO AVOID POWASSAN???”
Basically, youre supposed to wear ‘OFF!’, tuck your jeans in your socks, and neurotically look for ticks all over your body after you have been outdoors.
WTF!! Thats not comforting, Departments of Health!
[/fear mongering post for the year]