The doctors are stumped. Again. Flu-like symptoms and aching joints leading to raging headaches and fevers that come and go.
However, this virus continues to get worse as it invades the central nervous system and begins to cause encephalitis with acute onset of profound muscle weakness, confusion, and other severe neurologic signs including dementia and paralysis, and in up to 30% of the cases death. Also called Powassan Encephilitis due to the majority of cases exhibiting encephilitisthe CDC’s map shows a relatively small number of reported cases between 2001 & 2012, see http://www.cdc.gov/powassan/statistics.html. The small numbers is undoubtedly due to the fact that so few doctors that are aware of it.
[Author’s Note: The CDC (Center for Disease Control) map does not show any reported cases in New Hampshire or Vermont but if it included 1999 & 2000 there would be 3 more cases in Maine and a case in Vermont see:http://cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5035a4.htm, and on August 1 of this year (2013) New Hampshire reported the first case of Powassan virus. Of further note is that the same man tested positive for another virus that is carried by mosquitoes. Could Powassan virus have been delivered by the mosquito?
The Poughkeepsie Journal reports about Rick Stanton, a MTA police officer who was struck down with the virus last year, and sent from hospital to hospital as his symptoms became more and more severe yet doctors couldn’t find a diagnosis.
Thankfully his wife Nicole heard about Powassan from her cousin whose co-worker’s child had been diagnosed with Powassan virus previously. Nicole, after further research requested the hospital in New York City to test her husband. The doctors were aware of the virus but it took days of persistence for Nicole to get them to agree to send a blood sample to the CDC, and then it was a couple of weeks more of waiting before the diagnosis came back positive.
Once they began treating Mr. Stanton with anti-viral medicine, he began to get better although it took him months to regain the use of his legs.
Read entire story and watch a video here: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20130811/NEWS04/308110091/ICYMI-VIDEO-Research-prevention-measures-urged-latest-tick-borne-virus.