AUGUSTA, Maine (CBS/AP) — Both Maine and Rhode Island reported cases this week of Powassan virus, a rare tick-borne disease that can cause muscular weakness or even paralysis.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that the agency has confirmed a case of Powassan virus. The agency said it was the first case of the virus in the state this year.READ MORE: I'm Vaccinated; Can I Start Eating Inside Restaurants? Dr. Mallika Marshall Answers Your COVID-19 Questions
Maine CDC said the infection was detected in a Waldo County resident who likely contracted the illness in Maine and is now recovering after a stay in a hospital.
There are only about 25 cases of Powassan virus in the country every year. Maine has had nine cases since 2010.
In Rhode Island, the case was confirmed in a previously healthy man over the age of 70 from Providence County, who developed neurological symptoms and is now recovering, officials said.READ MORE: Body Found In Hampton River, N.H., By Boat Club Members
Initial symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness. It usually progresses to brain membrane inflammation, altered mental status, seizures, difficulty understanding or speaking, muscular weakness or paralysis, movement disorders, or cranial nerve palsies.
The disease can often lead to hospitalization. There is no vaccine or treatment for Powassan, so preventing exposure to ticks is the best way to avoid the disease.
Maine CDC recommends taking precautions such as wearing protective clothing and repellent and doing thorough tick checks.
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