Columbia County health officials reported on a confirmed Powassan virus case and the patient is recovering, according to a New Channel 13 report.
This is the first case reported in Columbia County. On average, New York sees one or two cases a year, according to the state Department of Health. Four cases were diagnosed across the state in 2017.
Powassan virus (POWV)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.
The Department of Health is reminding people to take steps to protect themselves from ticks and tick-borne illness.