Powassan Virus

Powassan Virus image
  • Powassan virus is a rare yet, often serious disease that is spread by the bite of infected ticks.  Powassan virus is a virus that is related to West Nile, St. Louis encephalitis, and Tick-borne Encephalitis viruses.  Within the previous 10 years, approximately 75 cases were reported in the United States.  There has only been one reported case in Michigan to date.  The signs and symptoms of Powassan virus range from no symptoms to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).  The best way to prevent infection is to protect yourself from tick bites.