Second case of tick-borne illness Powassan confirmed

SARATOGA COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to the NYS DOH, a second case of the tick-borne illness known as Powassan virus has been confirmed in a second Saratoga County resident.

That resident is currently hospitalized.

The Department of Health also tells News10ABC’s Lindsay Nielsen that a third probable case of Powassan virus in a third Saratoga County resident should be officially confirmed very soon.

The first confirmed case of Powassan virus in Saratoga County took the life of Charles Smith who was treated at Glens Falls Hospital and sadly died on June 8th.

NY Dept. of Health: Resident with confirmed case of tick-borne illness dies

The virus is spread through infected deer ticks.

Symptoms can include swelling of the brain, fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, and seizures. The CDC said many people who become infected with Powassan do not develop symptoms.

There is no specific treatment for the Powassan virus. The CDC said people with severe Powassan virus often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.

You can reduce the risk of getting tick-borne illnesses by using tick repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding bushy and wooded areas, and doing tick checks after spending time outdoors.

According to the CDC, approximately 75 cases of Powassan virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. The total number of cases of Powassan in New York is 24, including two confirmed cases in 2016. The two cases from 2016 were in Dutchess County and Westchester.