Is the Prevalence of Powassan Virus Increasing in Humans?
JAN 05, 2017 | CONTAGION EDITORIAL STAFF
Holly Frost, MD, pediatrics physician scientist at the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, in Minocqua, Wisconsin, discusses whether or not the prevalence of Powassan virus is increasing in humans.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“Powassan [virus] is an emerging infection, and so, we know that the amount of Powassan that we’re been seeing in ticks has been increasing, and the seroprevalence in mammals has been increasing. [As a result], it’s likely that we’re going to see more of this as time progresses.
I think we need to do further studies looking at what the true clinical presentation of Powassan virus is. We know very little aside from patients who have neurologic disease, because that’s the population we’ve really tested before. We also need to learn more about how patients [who] have coinfection with other tick-borne diseases, such as patients [who] have both Lyme disease and Powassan at the same time present, and if they have a higher severity of illness, or if their illness lasts for a longer period of time.”
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