In a follow-up on the Powassan virus disease cases in Saratoga County, NY, as part of 2017 tick survey efforts, the New York State Department of Health surveyed over 100 sites across New York State.


Earlier this summer, the Department expanded these tick collection efforts in Saratoga County after confirming three human cases of Powassan virus, a rare viral disease that can cause symptoms ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to life threatening encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).

The disease remains extremely rare in New York State with only 26 confirmed cases since 2000. The three cases in Saratoga County are the only confirmed cases of Powassan in New York State this year.

As part of the expanded collection efforts in Saratoga County, the Department visited 30 unique locations and collected approximately 2,700 ticks for testing at The Wadsworth Center.

Five positive pools, comprised of 22 ticks, tested positive for Powassan.Two of the positive pools were found at the Saratoga Spa State Park, one at the 100 Acre Woods Trail in Malta, one at the Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater, and the final pool at a private residence elsewhere in the County.

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This is the first time that Powassan has been found in ticks in Saratoga County. This enhanced surveillance will continue in the fall with collection of adult ticks from many of these same sites, as well as collection and testing of blood from hunter-harvested deer for previous exposure to Powassan.