After a super mild winter the bug population are going to be out in full force this year...and that means more ticks with more diseases.

The Today Show recently reported on a tick-borne illness that is said to be worse than Lyme and can lead to death.

Powassan virus like Lyme disease is transmitted by ticks, but unlike Lyme it is far more rare and much more deadly. And it transmits much faster, from tick to person in as little as 15 minutes (Lyme disease bacterium needs 24 hours).

The virus can cause inflammation in the brain and in 60% of the cases can lead to death or permanent disability.

It is incredibly rare, but Massachusetts has some of the highest numbers of known cases according to the CDC, with 8 over the last 10 years.

But with more ticks out this spring, experts say the chance of it emerging is more likely.

Symptoms of Powassan virus are

  • fever
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • loss of coordination
  • affected speech
  • seizures

With tick season gearing up (and looking bad this year) people are reminded to take precautions when they head out.

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