[CanLyme Note: Powassan virus was first reported in Powassan, Ontario, Canada in 1958. (McLean DM, McQueen EJ, Petite HE, MacPherson LW, Scholten TH, Ronald K. Powassan virus: field investigations in Northern Ontario, 1959 to 1961. Can Med Assoc J (1962) 86(21):971–4.)
2017… “The prevalence of POWV in endemic areas may be much higher than originally believed. Some asymptomatic people in these areas have serologic evidence of the virus while getting tested for other infectious disease. Others develop moderate to fatal symptoms. The fatality rate is 10%, and about 50% of those people who develop neurological symptoms end up with long-term sequelae (2). end of CanLyme Note“]
article… By Lori Comstock New Jersey Herald
An investigation by the Sussex County Division of Health is underway after two cases of the rare tick-borne Powassan virus were confirmed in Sussex County this week.
One of those persons who tested positive for the virus died in May, according to officials, but the immediate cause of death has yet to be determined.
Should it be confirmed that the cause of death was the virus, it would be the first death in Sussex County and only the second confirmed fatality due to the virus in the state, according to Donna Leusner, spokesperson for the state Department of Health. It would also be only the 10th confirmed death in the United States since 2008, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The second individual confirmed to have Powassan in Sussex County is recovering at home, Leusner said.