In an update on the Powassan virus situation in Saratoga County, NY, health officials in Schuyler County reported on their website that three cases of Powassan virus have been identified in Saratoga County.
Powassan is relatively rare in New York State with only 26 cases reported during the past 13 years.
Powassan virus is transmitted by Ixodes tick species found in North America. It is primarily seen in the northeastern part of the United States. New York, Minnesota and Wisconsin have seen the highest number of cases.
Signs and symptoms of Powassan infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. Long-term sequelae occurs in approximately 50% of patients. Approximately 10-15% of cases are fatal.
Reducing exposure to ticks is the best defense against Powassan virus disease, Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and other tickborne infections.
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