HUDSON, N.Y. -- According to the Columbia County Department of Health, a resident has been diagnosed with the Powassan virus. It’s the first in the area and the first case of the disease this year in New York.
Thankfully, the Columbia County resident is doing well.
HISTORY IN THE CAPITAL REGION
Last year, there were three reported cases in Saratoga County -- one contributing to the death of a Gansevoort man. More than 20 infected ticks were found. There was also one reported case last year in Dutchess County.
“Last year, it was in Saratoga. They've seen a case in Dutchess. So it was probably just a matter of time,” says Marcia Fabiano, an epidemiologist.
HOW TO GUARD AGAINST THE VIRUS
New York State sees one or two cases of the disease each year. So while it's concerning, experts say residents shouldn't panic. Ticks carry a variety of diseases, but there are ways to prevent them. Those tips include daily tick checks, wearing long pants tucked into socks, using a repellant when heading out, and wearing light colored clothing.
SYMPTOMS OF POWASSAN VIRUS
Symptoms include a strong headache, nausea and vomiting. Serious cases of the virus could lead to meningitis.