POW virus disease cases are rare, but the reported number of cases have increased in recent years. If you think you or a family member may have POW virus disease, see your health care provider for evaluation and diagnosis.
In the United States, cases of POW virus disease have been reported primarily from northeastern states and the Great Lakes region, according to the CDC.
All residents of and visitors to areas where POW virus activity has been identified are at risk of infection.
New York has had 16 cases from 2006-2015, the second highest number in the country, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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Powassan virus was first identified in 1958 and was first recognized in deer ticks, the type that bite humans and also carry Lyme disease, in the mid-1990s.
What is Powassan virus?
In animal studies, Powassan virus could be passed from tick to host after only about 15 minutes of attachment.
Should you be worried about Powassan virus?
Tokarz’s own research , mostly on ticks in regions around New York City, has shown that only about 1% to 2% of ticks are infected with bacteria that cause the Powassan virus.
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