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Powassan Viral Encephalitis

Overview:

Powassan (POW) virus, a North American tick-borne flavivirus related to the Eastern Hemisphere's tick-borne encephalitis viruses, was first isolated from a patient with encephalitis in 1958. From 1958-1998, 27 human POW encephalitis cases were reported from Canada and the northeastern United States. From September 1999-July 2001, four Maine and Vermont residents with encephalitis were found to be infected.  

There is no vaccine or specific therapy for Powassan encephalitis. 
 

Vector:

Woodchuck Tick (Ixodes cookei)
 

Causative Agent:

Flavivirus (specific strain)
 

Endemic Area:

Eastern and Western States including Dutchess County, NY
 

Incubation Period:

7-14 days
 

Classic Symptoms:

Fever
Meningoencephalitis
10% fatality rate
50% Neurological sequelae
 

Lab Test(s):

Serology
 

Treatment:

None
 

Search the Center for Disease Control, The National Institute of Health or PubMed for more information on Powassan Viral Encephalitis.
 

Source: Dutchess County DOH, National Institute of Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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