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"Rare" (?) tick-borne illness?

Ms.S was a former nurse who grew up poor in Fall River. That she would become a well-known painter in middle-age surprised Sxxxx, who, at 72, continued to ride horses and revel in the outdoors.

"A tiny tick ended all of that.

Snow died last week, apparently from Powassan virus, a rare tick-borne illness that is capturing increasing attention from public health officials amid reports of at least one other suspected case in Massachusetts."

(Reported in the Boston Globe on Dec 27, 2013)

(I added the question marks because I'm pretty sure that Powassan isn't rare at all, just not looked for, therefore not found. Just like Lyme, Bartonella, Babesia etc.)
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Avatar universal
I've heard it said that Lyme disease and other tick-borne co-infections are rare too.

I tried to find a definitive number for 'rare' when it comes to medical (maybe other) conditions. I gave up when I saw it had such a wide range that I gave it my designation 'fuzzy language'.

Just MY designation and not found in medical tracts. (grin)

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1096512 tn?1384889778
Common things with subtle risk factors or Uncommon things with improbable conclusions,zoonosis with very few dead end vectors are always mentioned as RARE in general terms.

I have never seen any tick but has seen many mosquitoes which cause serious deaths in my place.Any how,I should appreciate your concern in posting this question in this community.Thumbs up for your following up with news and updates, knowledge related to these medical conditions.
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1096512 tn?1384889778
Powassan Virus is only known Flavivirus with known human pathogenicity (death due to cerebral symptoms) so far.Deer tick virus encephalitis or Tick Borne meningoencephalitis is a viral infection which is more common in North America (isolated first in Massachusetts and Connecticut ).

But clinical manifestations are less vigorous in other Tick borne zoonotic diseases like Lymes (Borrelia-Bacterium),Bartonellosis (Bortonella-Bacteria),Babesiosis (Babesia-Protozoan) and list goes on.

It could be mentioned as rare disease since only known Tick borne viral infection in the area (Massachusetts) where other Tick borne viral infections are Cremmian Congo hemorrohagic fever(Africa and Asia),Colarado Tick Fever (West US).Also statistics state that there were 49 deaths during 2010-11 and increasing which indicates less prevalence.Also it is very difficult to diagnose and very few investigations like serology being most effective as diagnosis is mostly confirmed after death(interval of transmission is less than 12 hrs) where most of the tick borne diseases or meningitis have same clinical symptoms mimicking one another.That is how it is rare in general public terms so as not to panic people.If you say it is more common then it triggers panic in public,isn't it?

Hope this answer helps.

References made-Medical Parasitiology,CMDT and CDC reports, wikipedia,Tick borne virus extracts from medical books et al.
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