"We're always at risk," Iowa expert on new tick-borne virus - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

"We're always at risk," Iowa expert on new tick-borne virus

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DES MOINES (KWWL) -

Iowa's mild winter could mean a bad year for ticks.

Not only that, there's a new tick-borne illness experts are worried about.

It's called "Powassan virus."

There's no cure and it could be deadly.

"Iowa has yet to see a case of Powassan fever, but we do have the ticks. So if we have the ticks, we're always at risk, and since this is relatively new and spreading, this could be in the very near future," said Dr. Ryan Smith, Iowa State Medical Entomology.

Experts say the virus has recently mutated, allowing it to be carried by deer ticks, the same kind that carry Lyme disease.

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