The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed that four residents of the state have tested positive for Powassan virus (POWV). This is the first time that POWV has been detected in Connecticut in 2023.
Four Connecticut Residents Test Positive for Powassan Virus
POWV is a rare but serious tick-borne illness that can cause encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick.
The four residents who tested positive for POWV are all adults who live in different parts of the state. They all reported having a tick bite in the weeks leading up to their illness.
The symptoms of POWV infection can vary from person to person. Some people may experience no symptoms at all, while others may experience fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, and seizures.
In rare cases, POWV infection can be fatal.
The DPH is urging residents to take steps to protect themselves from tick bites. These steps include:
- Wearing long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors in tick-infested areas.
- Using insect repellent that contains DEET.
- Inspecting yourself and your children for ticks after being outdoors.
- Removing ticks promptly if they are found.
If you think you may have been bitten by a tick, it is important to see a doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help to improve your chances of a full recovery.
The DPH is also working to raise awareness of POWV infection in Connecticut. The department has developed a fact sheet about the virus and is working with healthcare providers to ensure that they are aware of the symptoms and treatment options.
The DPH is committed to protecting the health of all Connecticut residents. By taking steps to protect yourself from tick bites, you can help to prevent POWV infection.