A new tick-borne virus, Powassan, which is spread by deer ticks, has recently been showing up in Minnesota, with six cases being reported in the last two years. This virus can cause encephalitis and meningitis in humans, or inflammation of the brain, spinal cord, etc. Symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, and memory loss. Signs and symptoms occur within one to five weeks of an infectious tick bite. Check out Minnesota’s webpage for more information on POW.
"When working in the woods, be sure to practice tick prevention by using products that repel ticks, tucking your pants into your boots, wearing light colored clothing so that you can easily see ticks to pick them off, and then, of course, do a tick check when you come in from the field or each night before you go to bed," reports Linda Williams of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Williams also offers an easy tip to rid your clothing of unwanted ticks:
"Here’s a helpful hint that my supervisor recently gave me, which I have recently tried and had great success with: after you’ve been in a tick infested areas, just throw your clothes in the dryer on high heat for a 5 minutes or so, then check the lint trap! Dead ticks will be collected there and it might amaze you how many you’ve collected."