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Northern Minnesota Woman Dies Of Tick-borne Virus


DULUTH, MN (KDAL) - The Minnesota Department of Health says a northern Minnesota woman in her 60's had died from a brain infection after contracting the Powassan virus that is spread by infected ticks.  The virus was first seen in Minnesota in 2008 and has infected seven people in the state since then.  The Health Department says the disease is caused by a virus and is not treatable with antibiotics, so it is crucial to avoid being bitten by deer ticks, also responsible for spreading Lyme disease.  The Powassan virus is rather rare, only 60 cases have been identified in North America since 1958, but about ten percent of the cases are fatal.