For the last decade, the CDC has been tracking the Human Powassan Virus (POW). While it is rare, some of the highest reported number of cases have been from Minnesota & Wisconsin.
According to the CDC, once people are infected with the virus via tick bites, they could experience the following symptoms: “…fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. There is no specific treatment, but people with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.”1
Over the last 10 years, 100 cases have been reported in the U.S. with nearly half coming from Minnesota & Wisconsin. Check out the infographic below from the CDC:
The best way to prevent a tick born illness is to wear long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors. And always make sure to do a “tick check” when you get back in. You can also use tick repellent but make sure to spray it on your clothes, not your body.
Again, POW is rare but you still need to stay vigilant.