In order to increase awareness of the Powassan virus sickness, a tick-borne illness, a Pennsylvania mother has shared her son’s near-death experience with the public.
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According to Jamie Simoson, who appeared on “Good Morning America,” her 3-year-old son Jonny had a tick on his shoulder while swimming in June.
A tiny tick, according to Simoson. “I used a tiny pair of tweezers to grab it. It was easy to remove.”
When Simoson received a phone call from Jonny’s daycare providers two weeks after removing the tick from her son, they informed her that Jonny had a headache and was “not himself.”
In only a few short hours, Simoson reported that Jonny had developed high fevers, was exhausted and had lost some of his ability to speak.
Simoson lamented, “It was really terrible to see.” “Despite his attachment to me since birth, this is the small guy who wouldn’t even allow himself to be hugged by me. Seeing it brought tears to my eyes.”
A swollen brain was revealed in Jonny’s hospitalization. Doctors administered antivirals and antibiotics for four hours, which aided in his recovery, says Simoson.
Doctors diagnosed Simoson’s son with Powassan virus sickness, a tick-borne ailment that causes brain infection after he was released from the hospital.
Ticks carry the virus, which can be transmitted to humans by infected ticks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, instances have increased in recent years, with the majority occurring in the northeastern and Great Lakes regions of the United States.
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According to the CDC, symptoms of the Powassan virus might take up to a month to appear following a tick bite. Fever, headache, nausea, and weakness are common signs of the virus’s early stages.
An infection of the brain or membranes around it can cause confusion, loss of coordination, difficulties in speaking, and seizures according to the CDC if the virus progresses to a severe level.
Dr. Robert Posada, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at Mount Sinai Kravis Children’s Hospital who was not involved in Jonny’s care, told “GMA” that “people, when that happens, can develop altered mental status, meaning that they may be more sleepy than usual, have difficulty waking up, they may experience seizures, maybe some unusual behaviors, severe headaches.”
According to the CDC, around 1 in 10 people who acquire a serious illness caused by the Powassan virus die. Around half of the survivors will suffer from long-term health difficulties such as memory problems, frequent headaches, and loss of muscle mass and strength.
No drug is explicitly used to treat the Powassan virus, despite the fact that there are a number of supportive measures.
Doctors and Simoson are optimistic about Jonny’s rehabilitation despite the fact that he still has some left-side weakness, she said.
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The CDC recommends protecting yourself, your pets, and your property from ticks, which often live in grassy, brushy, or forested environments because there is no vaccination for the Powassan virus.
Experts also stress the need for early detection, so if symptoms of Powassan virus sickness are apparent, seek quick medical attention.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2022)Lyme Disease(Available online):https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html
WebMD(2005-2022)Lyme Disease: Important Facts to Know(Available online):https://www.webmd.com/rheumatoid-arthritis/arthritis-lyme-disease
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