First case of Powassen virus diagnosed in Columbia Co.
Jun 13, 2018 7:30 am
Columbia County Department of Health is reminding residents to protect themselves against ticks and tick-borne illness, on the heels of the department confirming the county's first case of Powassen virus. Dr. Ananthakrishnan Ramani, Chief of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Columbia Memorial Health, working with the New York State Department of Health, confirmed the report. “The patient is recovering well,” said Ramani. Powassan virus is a rare viral disease that can cause symptoms ranging from mild flu-like symptoms to life-threatening encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. The disease remains extremely rare in New York, which has reported 29 cases to the Centers for Disease Control. Columbia County Director of Public Health Jack Mabb advised there are a number of preventative measures that provide protection against tick-borne illnesses. “It is important for residents to plan ahead before outdoor activities, be mindful of exposure while outdoors and to remain vigilant in checking for ticks both while outdoors and afterward for the best chance of prevention against tick-borne diseases," Mabb said. Information about Powassan virus, Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, are available on the Columbia County Health Department website, the New York State Department of Health website or the Centers for Disease Control. The Columbia County Department of Health’s 24-hour Lyme and other Tick-borne Disease Information line can be reached by dialing 518-828-7539. Read the full press release at 985 The Cat [dot] iheart [dot] com.