Case of tick-borne virus confirmed in Saratoga County

16 people in Greene County report tick-related illness so far this summer

There have only been a few cases detected nationwide and one person has died.

"It's frightening", Bill Purcell said.

"We believe everyone should be taking preventive measures against tick bites", Rosen said.

"In a lot of tick-borne illness, the patient never knows that they had a tick bite, and we don't find a tick", Schulz said.

"I want people to know it's out there", she said.

Dr. Steven Lawrence, an infectious disease specialist at Washington University, said there isn't enough information about the virus to determine a typical course of illness.

According to the DOH, early symptoms of the tick-borne illness include a strong headache, nausea and vomiting.

The virus, thought to be transmitted to humans by ticks, causes fever, flu-like symptoms and a drop in the blood cells that fight infection and help with blood clotting.

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A state health official said it'll take several months to finish the investigation into tick-borne diseases at Meramec State Park. 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.

"It's really important to avoid tick bites and conduct thorough tick checks during and after your time outdoors - even if you're in your own backyard", said Jennifer Brown, DVM, MPH, state public health veterinarian.

Places to check include the hairline, behind the ears, and at the waistband.

Attached ticks may be safely removed by using tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin and then pulling outward with steady and even pressure. Wilson, 58, was only the fifth confirmed case. The two cases from 2016 were in Dutchess County and Westchester.

According to the CDC, approximately 75 cases of POW virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years.

According to the DOH, Powassan is not common in the Capital Region, and Saratoga County residents are not at a higher risk.

Anyone who thinks they or a family member may have the Powassan virus is urged to consult with a healthcare provider.

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