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- From the Pros
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By Dr. C. Leigh Broadhurst, Ph.D.
Powassan Disease, caused by an encephalitis virus, is in the same family as West Nile Disease and St. Louis encephalitis. Encephalitis means brain inflammation. These diseases are rare because the brain is highly protected from the general blood circulation, but when they do occur they can cause permanent brain damage or even death.
The alternate hosts for the ticks that spread this virus are small rodents: squirrels,