Maine Center for Disease Control

1st Case of Powassan Tick Virus Reported in Maine This Year

The virus can cause fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, memory loss and, in some cases, serious neurologic problems or death

Female Lone Star tick
Alex Cumbie

The first case this year of a potentially fatal tick-born virus has been discovered in Maine, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

The Powassan virus -- caused by the bites of infected deer ticks or woodchuck ticks -- can result in fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss, according to the Maine CDC. It can also cause serious neurological problems and in the case of severe infection, death. 

The case was detected in a Waldo County resident, who the Maine CDC says is recovering after being hospitalized with the virus. 

The Powassan virus is rare in the U.S., with only around 25 cases reported each year. However, Maine health officials are urging residents to take precautions against ticks, including avoiding tick-infested areas, wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent.

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