That figure, however, is a “gross under-representation” of the number of Lyme and associated diseases in the county, said Elizabeth Large, a naturopathic physician with Eric Gordon Medical Associates, a Santa Rosa-based practice that specializes in treating chronic disorders such as Lyme disease, arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome.
The Powassan virus, or POW for short, is worse than Lyme disease because it is transmitted quicker and about 10-30 percent of patients who get infected and show symptoms will not survive, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
· Avoid tick-infested areas such as overgrown grass, brush, and leaf litter.
Try to wear gloves when handling an engorged tick. Pull upward with steady, even pressure.
Luccia was bit in the head by a tick in kindergarten in 2013, but the tick was not properly removed.
Keep this in mind the next time you go for a hike in a wooded or grassy area: Tiny critters called deer ticks often carry Lyme-disease-causing bacteria, which is spread by their bite.
Through Senator Ritchie’s efforts, more than 11,000 students and families across St. Lawrence County have been provided with brochures that offer guidance on how to avoid ticks, what to do if bitten by one of the insects, information on the symptoms of Lyme disease and more.
“If you see a tick on you, you can use very thin tweezers to remove the tick in its entirety, the whole tick, and then save it in a plastic bag”, Bhatia said.
The greatest risk for Lyme is between the months of May and August, when the blacklegged tick is in the juvenile stage; it’s the size of a poppy seed and very hard to detect, so individuals may be unaware that they have been bitten. That’s in contrast to a state like MA that estimates 10,000 cases of just Lyme disease each year. Other symptoms include fevers, headaches and joint or muscle pain. Individuals who are older or whose immune system may not function well can have severe infection with these organisms requiring hospitalization. “So now that it’s on our radar, if it matches to those symptoms of fever, vomiting, weakness, we’ll be looking for it and testing for it, and seeing what we can do”. There is no specific treatment for Powassan.