Toddler Develops Long-Term Illness Due to Rare Virus From Tick Bite

August 3, 2022 by Alexa Hornbeck
Toddler Develops Long-Term Illness Due to Rare Virus From Tick Bite
(Photo by Catkin via Pixabay)

A 3-year-old from Pennsylvania named Jonny Simoson recently contracted what is known as a rare Powassan virus from a tick bite. The rare virus causes infection to the brain and tissue that surrounds it. 

The number of reported cases of people sick from Powassan virus has increased in recent years, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency finds that ticks are most active from the late spring to mid-fall in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions of the country. 

In Simoson’s case, the boy developed symptoms two weeks after the tick bite. The CDC advises that the initial symptoms of fever, headache, vomiting and weakness can occur after the initial tick bite within one week to one month.


Approximately one out of 10 people with severe disease die from the virus, and there is no medication to treat the infection. 


Simoson was released from the hospital on July 12, but his parents reported that he continues to have speech difficulties and weakness. 


The CDC finds that approximately half of people who survive the severe disease have long-term health problems, including reoccurring headaches, muscle mass and strength loss, and memory problems. 

Alexa can be reached at [email protected]

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