According to the Daily Gazette ticks carrying the deadly Powassan virus have been found in Saratoga County for the first time. There have been residents who have contracted the virus before but now the ticks themselves have been located.

"Specifically, Health Department personnel visited 30 different locations and collected approximately 2,700 ticks for testing.

A total of 22 ticks tested positive for the virus, and those ticks were collected in Saratoga Spa State Park, in Saratoga Springs; at 100 Acre Woods Trail in Malta; at Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater, and at a private home, according to a prepared statement from the Health Department."

The Powassan virus can cause a swelling around the brain and lead to death. Currently, the best ways to treat POWV illnesses include medications to reduce brain swelling, respiratory support and intravenous fluids.

"This is the first time that Powassan has been found in ticks in Saratoga County," the Health Department said in the statement. "This enhanced surveillance will continue in the fall with collection of adult ticks from many of these same sites, as well as collection and testing of blood from hunter-harvested deer for previous exposure to Powassan."

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