There is a new viral epidemic that may cause fatal brain illness
Following indications of an increase in the number of cases, travelers have been advised to be on the lookout for a new viral epidemic that may cause catastrophic brain damage.
Because of the continued relaxation of Coronavirus travel restrictions, millions of people around the world will be looking for their next vacation destination. However, travelers are being cautioned not to let their guard down after a ‘unusually high’ surge in deadly brain disease has been discovered in ticks.
So far, the warning has only been issued in the United States, after the discovery of a ‘unusually high’ number of ticks carrying the Deer Tick Virus, which may cause fatal neurological illness.
However, since more individuals are likely to travel or go on vacation, there is concern that the virus may spread farther and infect more people.
Ticks collected at the Lawrence Township Recreational Park in Clearfield County, Pennsylvania, were found to be carrying the uncommon and possibly lethal Deer Tick Virus, which was shown to be present in more than 90 percent of the ticks tested.
To illustrate how quickly the virus is spreading, the greatest infection rate previously reported at a single site in Pennsylvania was just 11 percent — while the overall infection rate for the whole United States was only 25 percent.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the statewide national average infection rate for Deer Tick Virus among adult ticks was just 0.6 percent last year, which is much lower than the national average of 1.2 percent (DEP).
Despite the fact that Deer Tick Virus is very uncommon, positive cases in the human population have been growing in recent years, prompting specialists to advise visitors to exercise caution while traveling — with the majority of cases since 2008 being identified in the Great Lakes area.
As a consequence, Lyme disease, which is communicated by the same tick species that causes the bull’s-eye rash, is likely to climb by 20 percent in the next decades, and as a result, the Deer Tick Virus is also expected to experience an increase in the following decades.
Despite the fact that Deer Tick Virus is uncommon in the United States, positive instances within the human population have been growing in recent years, according to specialists, with the majority of cases being recorded since 2008.
Ticks collected from the Lawrence Township Recreational Park were found to be infected at an abnormally high rate, according to DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell.
In Pennsylvania, the Deer Tick Virus is transmitted relatively fast by the bite of an infected tick, and the health consequences […] are more severe than other tick-borne infections that are often encountered in the state.
What is the source of the Deer Tick Virus’s spread?
As a result of increased humidity and temperatures, tick numbers and ranges are expanding, which will certainly lead to an increase in the number of people who get infected. Meanwhile, greater urbanisation in the United States is contributing to a rise in the number of deer and mouse populations, which the insects prey on.
It should be noted that the virus is a Powassan virus, making it a relative of the dengue, West Nile, and Zika viruses. These Deer Tick Viruses are transmitted to humans primarily through the bite of so-called black-legged or deer ticks, which are found in the Midwest United States and southeastern Canadian provinces.
Coughing, sneezing, or physical contact do not transfer the illness from person to person, as is the case with Coronavirus.
The signs and symptoms of the Deer Tick Virus
The following are some of the earliest signs and symptoms of Deer Tick Virus, which may occur as fast as 15 minutes after a tick bite:
Despite the fact that it is fairly rare for folks to have no symptoms at all.
However, according to the Centers for Illness Control and Prevention in the United States, 90 percent of patients who have been treated for Deer Tick Virus go on to develop severe neuroinvasive disease and may have encephalitis or meningitis, both of which are diseases of the brain (CDC).
Confusion, coordination issues, and other severe symptoms are common.
Seizures accompanied with difficulties speaking
Approximately 12 percent of patients die as a result of this severe illness, with half of the remaining patients suffering from long-term health consequences as a result.
However, there are now no vaccinations available to prevent the transmission of Powassan illnesses such as the Deer Tick Virus, nor are there any medications available to properly treat them.