Rare Powassan tick-borne virus shows up north of Framingham

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MAYNARD, Mass. (WPRI) — Town officials in Maynard say a resident has contracted the Powassan virus, a tick-borne illness that can potentially be deadly.

The town’s administrator, Greg Johnson, and the Maynard Public Health Division made the announcement Wednesday. Maynard’s health agent, Kelly Pawluczonek, said tick bites can happen all year long, and residents must protect against tick bites year-round — not just the high season from April to September.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the Powassan virus is rare, but can become severe. It’s spread from ticks to people, but isn’t communicable between humans.

Symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness.

Besides daily tick checks, health officials recommend using bug repellant with at least 20 percent DEET.

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