KINGSTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A person in New York has died after being bitten by a tick carrying a rare illness known for causing swelling in the brain.
According to officials in Ulster County, the victim was infected with Powassan virus and died in late July.READ MORE: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial
It's the first known case of this virus in New York so far this year. On average, fewer than six cases are diagnosed across the state.https://t.co/z3sTSQuAyT
— News 4, WIVB-TV (@news4buffalo) August 1, 2019
This is the first known case of Powassan virus in New York State this year. The resident lived in Gardiner — about 80 miles north of New York City — and had additional underlying health conditions according to Ulster health officials.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate For New York City Teachers To Take Effect After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Temporary Ban
“It is imperative that all residents take every precaution necessary against tick-borne illnesses, especially during outdoor activities. Residents should vigilantly check themselves and their pets for ticks and tick bites,” Dr. Carol Smith, the county’s health commissioner said.
Tick bite victims infected with Powassan can experience several symptoms including fever, headache, vomiting, memory loss and – in the deadliest cases – swelling of the brain (encephalitis).
New Jersey health officials announced in June that two more cases of Powassan virus were diagnosed in Sussex County.
One of those patients later died.MORE NEWS: Parents Of Immunocompromised Girl Say Long Island School District Refused Requests For Adequate Remote Option
The CDC says a tick must be attached to its victim for several hours before a life-threatening disease can be transmitted.