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Second Case Of Deadly Powassan Virus Confirmed In Saratoga County

Tick
Photo by Scott Bauer (USDA ARS)
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A second case of a rare tick-borne disease has been confirmed in Saratoga County.

The New York State Department of Health has confirmed a second case of Powassan virus. The adult affected is still hospitalized.

The department is also investigating another probable case. If confirmed, it would total 26 cases statewide in 17 years.

The probable case is an adult who has been released from the hospital. Last week the health department reported its first confirmed case of the virus this year. The individual died.

All three cases are from different towns within Saratoga County.

More than 200 ticks from five different sites have been collected in the county. Powassan is one of several diseases, including Lyme disease, tested for. Testing of ticks gathered in Saratoga County will be expedited.

Collection efforts will expand to ten new sites.

Over the last nine years, DOH has collected more than 1,200 ticks in Saratoga County, all previously testing negative for Powassan virus.

DOH officials will be present to answer questions about ticks and tick-borne illness at the Saratoga County Fair, which opens today.

Lucas Willard is a reporter and host at WAMC Northeast Public Radio, which he joined in 2011.
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