The worst part of tick season is upon us, and officials are warning that tick-borne diseases like Powassan virus disease are on the rise.

of This year’s first fatal case It was confirmed this month in Maine: Robert J. Weymouth, 58, died of complications from the disease.

A Weymouth widow is now working to raise awareness of the disease, which is far worse than Lyme disease and can lead to serious neurological problems such as swelling of the brain or spinal cord.

Annemarie Weymouth said her husband had no symptoms before the onset of symptoms and the couple did not know about Powassan virus before the diagnosis.

“My husband and I, we have cats, we know ticks, we did ticks, we knew Lyme disease,” she said. “I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of Powasan.

Even more alarming, said Weymouth, was how unfamiliar the medical professionals who treated her husband seemed to be with Powassan. He was in the hospital for weeks before they found the cause of his symptoms.

“In Maine we are literally covered for ticks,” she said. “I don’t know why it’s not a big deal.”

We asked experts some common questions about Powassan virus disease. Here’s what they say.

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