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Beware of Powassan virus — another virus caused by tick bites

There is a new warning about a rare virus caused by ticks, but it is not Lyme disease,CBS Phila Stephanie Stahl of Delphia reports.

A boy in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, is recovering from a life-threatening infection caused by a tick bite.

Jamie Simoson says his 3-year-old son, Johnny, is doing well. He is recovering from a severe Powassan virus infection.

"He's doing very well now," said Simoson.

A few weeks before Johnny fell ill with a headache and high fever, she found a tick. She took him to the doctor, but as he continued to deteriorate, he was headed to the emergency room.

Johnny was diagnosed with meningoencephalitis.

"Meningitis means that the lining of the brain becomes inflamed, and encephalitis means that the brain cells themselves become inflamed," Dr. Swati Gowtham said. Viruses can cause both.”

There is no proven cure, according to Gowtham, and treatment usually includes IV fluids, oxygen, and seizure medication.

In Johnny's case, the doctor decided to try IVIG therapy, which is an infusion of filtered antibodies from blood donors. It's someone else's immune system," Gowtham said. "Johnny responded very well.

Johnny returned home after nearly two weeks in the hospital. He is undergoing rehabilitation, speech, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

"He has a definite weakness on the left flank," Simosson said. "His way of speaking has stepped back a bit. Cognitively, he's not necessarily back to where he was before, but I'm confident the progress he's made will continue."

Families are raising awareness about tick-borne diseases.

"If we could get one patient to treatment sooner, recognize symptoms sooner, and help prevent ticks," Simosson said. all right. "

Doctors say the best way to avoid tick bites is to use insect repellent. Powassan virus is difficult to diagnose and rare, mainly in the Northeast.

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