We’re used to dealing with a buggy summer around St. Louis, but you may be hearing reports of a possibly tick-borne virus making its way around the country.
Powassan virus is described as a more deadly version of Lyme disease; the CDC is warning the number of cases could go up.
But locally, Washington University infectious disease specialist Dr. David Rosen says it is likely not going to be a problem. Lyme and Powassan are seeing a slight rise in the northeast because of a spike in the mouse population. Even Lyme disease is rare in this region.
Instead, "Ehrlichea" is much more common. With about 100 reports of it per year in Missouri, that's more than the number of national Powassan cases in the last decade.
Symptoms of Ehrlichea usually develop a week or two after a tick bite, and include fever, headache, chills and muscle pain.
In Missouri, even a normal tick season is a bad tick season though, so Dr. Rosen advises wearing bug spray, protective clothes, and always doing a thorough tick check after time outdoors.
For more information on Ehrlichea and its symptoms, visit the CDC website.