Connecticut health officials confirm 1st case of Powassan virus this year
Health officials in Connecticut have confirmed this year's first case of the Powassan virus.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that a Windham resident tested positive for the virus. Health officials say 12 cases of the illness were reported in Connecticut from 2017 to 2021. Two of those were fatal.
Health officials say the virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected tick. They say it takes a week to one month after the bite from an infected tick to develop symptoms of POWV disease.
Officials say the patient is between the ages of 50 and 59.
They say he became sick during the fourth week of March and was hospitalized but in now home recovering.
Officials say most people infected with the virus experience either no symptoms or mild flu-like symptoms.
Although Lyme Disease is the more common tick-related disease in Connecticut, officials say around 12 cases of the Powassan virus were reported in the state in the past 5-years with two fatal cases in Windham County.
Fairfield Health Director Sands Cleary says the longer a tick remains on a person, the higher the chance there is that a person could get sick.
Officials say some people who come down with Powassan will develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous symptom adding about one in 10 cases of severe illness are fatal and half of survivors experience long-term health problems.