What is Powassan disease?
Two new cases of a dangerous and potentially fatal tick-borne illness have health officials in Maine on high alert as agencies across the nation brace for a particularly high-population tick season. The patients, who were not identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), contracted Powassan virus, which differs from Lyme disease as it can be transferred from tick to human in a matter of minutes.
“It’s a virus, whereas Lyme is a bacteria,” Dr. Kent Holtorf, a Lyme disease expert and medical director of Holtorf Medical Group, told Fox News. “If you catch Lyme early, antibiotics can eradicate it, but with a virus, you have much less options to do anything about it.”