By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Connecticut state health officials reported two residents have tested positive for the tick-borne disease, Powassan virus (POWV). These are the first cases reported in 2021 in the state.


The two patients who tested positive are between the ages of 50 and 79 and both became ill during the third week of April.

Laboratory tests confirmed the presence of antibodies for POWV and both were hospitalized with central nervous system disease. Both patients were discharged from the hospital and are recovering.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health says 10 cases of POWV associated illness were reported in Connecticut from 2016 to 2020. Two deaths have been reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Powassan virus disease is a rare, but often severe disease caused by a virus spread to people by infected ticks. The number of reported cases of people sick from Powassan virus has increased in recent years.  Powassan virus belongs to a group of viruses that can cause infection of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Powassan virus infection. The best way to prevent Powassan virus disease is to prevent tick bites.