With both tick and Lyme Disease numbers on the rise, tick control is a growing concern for many Canadians. However another serious tick-borne disease is gaining momentum across North America.
Powassan Virus is more rare than Lyme Disease, yet it can bring on more serious symptoms, including brain inflammation. First discovered in 1958, a boy from Powassan, Ontario (near North Bay) became infected with the then-unknown virus, and later died.
Only 25 cases have been identified in Canada since then, and 75 in the US. However since 2006, at least 8 people have died after becoming infected. With tick populations growing and Powassan cases recently identified in Connecticut and Maine, it's becoming more of a concern as we approach warmer weather.
While Lyme disease takes more than 24 hours to be transmitted to the bloodstream, it can take Powassan only about 15 minutes.