Powassan virus disease is a rare but serious illness caused by the bite of an infected tick. Three species of ticks found in Vermont can transmit the virus, but only one of these species – the blacklegged tick – commonly bites humans.
The last reported case of Powassan virus infection in a Vermont resident occurred in 1999. This disease can be difficult to diagnosis and is likely underreported. The Health Department is working with health care providers to test and identify cases of Powassan virus disease in Vermont residents.