The tick-borne disease, Powassan virus was reported for the first time in Cayuga County, according to local media report.

Powassan virus can cause symptoms ranging from a mild flu-like illness to life-threatening neurologic disease. 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.

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While Powassan virus is a known risk from tick bites, it is a much rarer disease than more commonly diagnosed tick-borne infections like Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Since 2007, there have been some 30 cases of Powassan reported in New York State.

With its abdomen engorged with a host blood meal, this image depicts a lateral, or side view of a female blacklegged, or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis/CDC