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CDC: CT Child Was Infected With Rare Tick-Borne Virus

A Hartford, Connecticut, baby has been diagnosed with Powassan virus, a rare tick-borne disease, WFSB reports. More aggressive than Lyme disease, symptoms can manifest within minutes of infection. A linked CDC bulletin explained that other symptoms include seizures, fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, memory loss and possible long-term neurologic problems.

With spring already here and the heat of summer on the way, this fairly new tick disease puts us on notice to prepare for ticks before you’re bitten. Lyme disease, often called "the great imitator,” as it may mimic a number of other disorders, such as arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer's disease, is the malady most often associated with ticks.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection primarily transmitted by ticks that have previously fed on an infected host. However, some top authorities on Lyme disease warn the bacteria that cause the disease may also be spread by other insects such as fleas, mosquitoes, mites and spiders.

The treatment for Lyme disease is challenging and often controversial, making prevention vital. Many people are unaware that young ticks are the size of poppy seeds and may crawl over your shoes and up your pants. Adult ticks are more likely to drop from trees or crawl under an untucked shirt.

If you’re going to be outside in a high-risk area, take precautions: Avoid tick-infested areas, such as leaf piles around trees. Walk in the middle of trails and avoid brushing against long grasses. Don't sit on logs, wooden stumps, stonewalls or the ground. And if you choose to use a commercial repellent, spray the outside of your clothes while outside and avoid inhaling the fumes.
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