The Powassan virus is hitting close to home for New Jerseyans.
This rare deer tick virus took the life of Armand Desormeaux from Hampton, New Jersey, in May, according to reports, while another infected individual is recovering at home in Sussex County. An investigation by the Sussex County Division of Health is currently underway due to these two cases.
The incubation period of Powassan ranges from about one week to one month, and it is a neuroinvasive disease that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the nervous system's surrounding membranes). Possible symptoms include fever, loss of coordination, seizures, and more.
Armand's daughter Dianne Rude advised the public, "Spray your yards, Frontline your animals and check yourself for ticks." To avoid ticks, try to stay out of tall, grassy areas, wear insect repellent and long-sleeved shirts, and shower soon after being outdoors.
For more information about Powassan, you can visit the state Department of Health website at state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/powassan.shtml. Or you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at cdc.gov/powassan.
Story re-posted from App.com. Written by Alexander Fezza