Alternative EarthCare Warns East End Residents About the Tick-Borne Powassan Virus
Alternative EarthCare has been providing quality residential and commercial services across Long Island, New York since 1996. Specializing in mosquito, flea, and eastern end of long island tick control service, traditional lawn services (including aeration and seeding), irrigation system services, tree removal and pruning, and Christmas and holiday light installation, the team of professionals successfully caters to your needs in the least toxic, most organic way possible.
Ticks may be little, but they can cause big problems. Nassau and Suffolk Long Island residents are no strangers to ticks and the dangerous illnesses that they spread. Though illnesses such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are more well-known, lesser known diseases such as the Powassan virus are just as dangerous, and it’s on the rise on Long Island. Alternative EarthCare warns Nassau and Suffolk residents about the tick-borne Powassan virus.
The Powassan virus is named after the town of Powassan, Ontario, where the disease was first identified. The neuroinvasive virus is most prevalent in the Northeast and around the finger lakes region, with Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York having seen the greatest number of cases. The Powassan virus, most closely related to the West Nile virus and encephalitis regarding the severity of symptoms and areas of attack, is carried on small to medium sized rodents such as squirrels, woodchucks, and white-footed mice, all of which are common in Nassau and Suffolk counties.
Often, people who are bitten by ticks carrying the Powassan virus, experience no symptoms or mild symptoms such as headaches, vomiting, fever, and weakness. However, in more serious cases, the symptoms can be extremely dangerous and can even lead to death. The Powassan virus can have detrimental effects on the nervous system and can lead to encephalitis and meningitis, both of which cause inflammation in the brain and spinal cord region. In extreme cases, sufferers can experience a loss of coordination abilities, difficulty in speech, seizures, and in some cases, death. For those who experience the Powassan virus in its most severe form of encephalitis, lifelong side-effects such as memory issues, muscle deterioration, recurrent headaches, and other neurological symptoms, can be permanent.
Among the most alarming things about the Powassan virus, is that unlike other tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and Babesiosis, which take approximately 24-48 hours to be transmitted through a feeding tick, the Powassan virus can be transmitted in as little as an hour’s time. This makes prevention and awareness even more important for Long Island residents. When spending time outdoors, Long Islanders should ensure they are wearing repellents or natural repellents such as lavender or lemon oils, and are keeping as covered up as possible, especially on lower extremities where ticks climb onto hosts. Habitats such as heavily wooded areas and dense ground cover should be avoided as well. After spending time outdoors, it’s essential to conduct a full body and scalp check and remember to check the four-legged family members thoroughly as well. On personal property, Long Islanders must ensure that professional tick treatments occur on a regular basis, approximately every three to four weeks to minimize tick populations on the property where most outdoor time is spent. With hosts as common as squirrels, woodchucks, and mice, taking these precautions are a must to keep loved ones safe.
Serving both Suffolk and Nassau County, including the East End and the Hamptons, Alternative EarthCare offers a variety of organic, non-toxic lawn care services for your home or business. In addition to beautifying and maintaining properties, the award-winning staff is also dedicated to the safety and health of their customers.