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A boy contracts a rare disease after being bitten by a tick while swimming

A test, performed 3 days after discharge, determined that he was infected with the Powassan virus.

A 3-year-old boy from Harvey Lake, Pennsylvania, contracted a strange disease that caused inflammation in the brain, after being bitten by a tick while swimming in a neighbor’s pool, informs The New York Post.

According to the minor’s mother, Jamie Simoson, the events occurred on June 15, when she observed a small red spot on the back of his son, realizing that it had been caused by an arachnid smaller than the tip of a pen.

“It wasn’t embedded, it wasn’t swollen,” commented Simoson, who explained that he removed the tick “easily with a pair of tweezers,” assuring that “it was still alive.” “He didn’t necessarily have any marks on his back until a few days later; there was just a little red bump,” she said.

Two weeks after the incident, the boy began to have unusual symptoms for his age, the most alarming being a headache. Seeing that his son’s health condition was getting worse, Simoson decided to take him to the hospital. After performing an MRI, neurologists diagnosed the minor with meningoencephalitis, an infection that damages both the brain and surrounding tissues.

Determined the origin of the illness

The child was discharged, at the request of his parents, after being hospitalized for 12 days in pediatric intensive care. A test, performed 3 days after discharge, determined that he was infected with the Powassan virus, which is transmitted by ticks.

Of agreement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 178 cases have been recorded of this disease in the country since 2011.

Although his parents have noticed an improvement, some effects of the virus still persist in his body. “We see some clear weaknesses on the left side when it comes to his leg and his arm”, specified Simoson, adding that he seems to have regressed a bit cognitively. However, he mentioned that they remain optimistic about his recovery.

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