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Facts for Prelims
News: Recently, a person in the US has died from the rare Powassan virus.
Powassan virus disease (POWV) is a rare but serious illness caused by the Powassan virus. It is often called a ticking time bomb. It is named after Powassan, Ontario where it was first discovered in 1958.
It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected deer tick, groundhog tick or squirrel tick. Not all ticks carry these viruses and not all people bitten by a tick will get sick. A tick needs to be attached to a person for a certain length of time before it can cause disease.
Symptoms - fever, headache, vomiting and weakness from one week to a month after being bitten. The other symptoms include Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord).
There is no specific vaccine or medication. People will be advised to take some preventive measures when they are outdoors.