The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention sent out a press release on Wednesday informing Mainers of a fatal case of a rare tick-spread disease in Waldo County.

The rare infection is called Powassan virus which caused one Waldo County resident to succumb to neurologic symptoms and eventually die while being hospitalized. The Maine CDC stated that it was likely that the resident contracted this virus within the State of Maine via a deer tick or a woodchuck tick.

Ticks Cause More Than Lyme Disease

Mainers are used to the dangers of ticks passing along Lyme disease to humans and pets but this recent fatality brings to the forefront the many diseases that ticks can pass along to humans and the seriousness of the bloodborne pathogens that are contracted. Symptoms of Lyme disease can include initial rash, followed by fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and fatigue for several weeks. Long-term issues include arthritis, Bell's palsy, and inflammation of parts of the nervous system and cardiovascular system.

WBZN Old Town Maine logo
Get our free mobile app

Powassan Virus In Maine

Powassan Virus is very rare in the United States with only 25 cases detected in the United States since 2015. Maine has been able to identify 14 cases of Powassan since 2010. Maine reported 3 cases in 2021, one case in Waldo County, one case in Knox County, and one case in Cumberland county.

Symptoms of the virus can start a week to a month of getting bit. These symptoms could include headache, fever, vomiting, weakness, seizures, memory loss, and confusion. Serious neurological issues may develop that could include brain or spinal cord inflammation, according to information from the Maine CDC. Some people who contract the virus may not even get sick while some, like the resident from Waldo County, might die from the virus.


Avoid Tick Bites

Maine CDC Director, Dr. Nirav Shah states that 'Ticks are active' and these parasitic bugs are looking for blood. This means steps need to be taken to make sure you don't get bitten by a tick that could possibly infect you with a bloodborne pathogen such as Lyme Disease or the rare Powassan virus that has just taken another Mainer life.

Strategies to avoid tick bites from the Maine CDC include using caution or avoiding being in wooded/bushy areas, using approved repellent, and performing tick checks daily.

More information about Powassan in Maine can be found on the Maine CDC page dedicated to the Powassan virus here in the state.

You're Breaking The Law In Maine If You Have Any Of These Animals As Pets

Stick to the cats and dogs that you know because if you're keeping any of these animals (or animals like them) as pets in Maine, you're breaking the law and could face stiff penalties.

20 of the Scariest Maine Animals to be Watching you from the Outside

A local raccoon became quite the celebrity the other day when he peaked into a home in Cutler, Maine.

The image was more cute and comedic than anything. However, it did inspire this list of the 20 scariest animals a Mainer would not want to see peaking into their house.

Warning, this list is quite frightening.

LOOK: Stunning animal photos from around the world

From grazing Tibetan antelope to migrating monarch butterflies, these 50 photos of wildlife around the world capture the staggering grace of the animal kingdom. The forthcoming gallery runs sequentially from air to land to water, and focuses on birds, land mammals, aquatic life, and insects as they work in pairs or groups, or sometimes all on their own.

More From WBZN Old Town Maine