The Cayuga County Health Department has received word from the State Department of Health of the first confirmed case of Powassan virus in an adult residing within the county. Cayuga County Public Health Director Kathleen Cuddy says Powassan virus is a tick-borne disease and can cause some pretty serious symptoms in people impacted by it.
Cuddy explains how the virus is transmitted.
This is the furthest west in New York that the virus has been identified. Unlike other tick-borne diseases, Powassan virus can be transmitted to a human from an infected tick while being attached to a person for as little as 15 minutes.
The Health Department would like to remind residents that personal protection is recommended during outdoor activities to avoid exposure to ticks.
When in a potentially tick-infested area: • Wear light-colored clothing (for easy tick discovery) • Tuck pants into socks and shirt into pants • Check frequently during outdoor activity for ticks on clothing or skin • Brush off any ticks on clothing or skin before skin attachment occurs • A thorough check of body surfaces for attached ticks should be done once indoors. Wearing insect repellant can aid in reducing bites from ticks that can spread disease. Do not put the repellent on your face or directly onto children; put it on your hands and apply it to your child. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for application.
For more information, call the Cayuga County Health Department at 315-253-1560 or visit our website: www.cayugacounty.us/health