Capitol Region Man Dies from Rare Tick Virus
We've all heard of the Lyme disease concerns and a growing tick population in New York. A Capitol Region man died after encountering a tick earlier this spring. His family is sharing the story so we all know of the dangers.
The family of Charles Smith from Gansevoort told News Channel 13 in Albany that he found a tick on on his elbow in late April. At the encouragement of his daughter, Smith sought a doctors advice. He was informed not to worry it was a small bite and there was no indication of Lyme disease. Less than 2 weeks later he awoke with chills and a fever.
Following a series of misdiagnosis the 74 year old man eventually became paralyzed from the neck down and passed away from swelling of the brain. What was discovered "too little too late," was that Smith has contracted the Powassan virus from the tick.
The really scary part of the story is that Powassan is very difficult to detect and tests take nearly a month to come back. Even scarier while Lyme disease takes 36 hours to be contracted from a tick, the Powassan virus can develop in as little as 15 minutes. And there's no cure.
Smith's family is speaking out, because they felt the NY State Health Department was squashing the story. While they finally issued a report on his death, it was nearly a month after it happened. And then it was the family that prompted them to go that.
You can read more on their story at News Channel 13's website.