How to Protect Yourself Against the Powassan Virus

There's confirmation of a second case of the tick-borne Powassan Virus in Saratoga County, and a third case is said to be possible. 

How worried should people be? 

SUNY Adirondack microbiologist Holly Ahern says Powassen has been around "forever," and just like West Nile and Lyme disease, it's just best to avoid catching any virus that can lead to other health complications.

“A rare complication of infection with these viruses is encephalitis, so I think it’s important for people to realize that the virus itself is not rare, the encephalitis resulting from infection is what’s rare.”

Ahern's advice: protect yourself from being bitten by a tick, by covering yourself with repellents and clothing.

“People protect themselves by being vigilant about checking for ticks, and then realize that the risk of exposure is every time you go out of your house.”

Ahern adds “You now DEET and permethrin on clothing, or you could use natural sprays on skin, which of course you have to reapply, and then once you come inside check, check everywhere, and be vigilant about that, because ticks are sneaky, and they will find the least obvious place to attach.”

The first case of the Powassan Virus was confirmed last week, a Gansevoort man who died in early June. 

Photo: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content