Doctors issue warning about new tick virus found in CT - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Doctors issue warning about new tick virus found in CT

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Doctors issue warning about new tick virus (WFSB) Doctors issue warning about new tick virus (WFSB)
(CBS) -

Ticks in the area have been found to carry a rare, potentially life-threatening, virus, even worse than Lyme disease.

Doctors have warned that the “Powassan Virus” is a rare tick-borne illness and could be serious, and has no treatment or cure.

"The doctor just has to support you during that acute illness and hope that you survive,” said Dr. Daniel Cameron of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.

He said that if someone is bitten by an infected tick, they can get the virus within a matter of minutes.

While the symptoms are similar to Lyme disease, they are far more severe.

"You can get seizures, high fevers, and stiff neck. It comes on so suddenly,” he said.

Researchers with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said the virus is starting to show up in Bridgeport and Branford.

"I couldn't imagine having something worse than this. It sounds really awful,” said Jennifer Cirigliano, 15, who is a Lyme disease patient.

She has diagnosed with Lyme disease two years ago and said it has been a long road of recovery.

Now, with this emerging tick-borne illness, doctors said to be on the lookout.

Doctors said there are ways people can protect themselves, like wearing pants and long sleeves outside, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, checking for ticks, and wearing bug spray.

To see the top 10 states with highest flea & tick activity, click here

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