WPCNR HEALTH ADVISORY. From FIOS 1 News, New Jersey and news reports. April 15, 2015:
FIOS News 1 is reporting that ticks in New Jersey have been found to carry the Powassan virus that has been found to cause meningitis and encephalitus disease if you are bitten by a deer tick. You can see that report here:
As of this morning the Westchester County Department of Health has not issued a health advisory, however, the tick season is upon us and you should be aware of a potentially more serious disease found in ticks this spring in the tri-state area. No tick counts have been issued yet, (those will be begin to be reported May 1) but protective clothing (no shorts, no short sleeves) should be seriously considered if you are going into woods, on picnic grounds, athletic fields, anywhere where ticks can be found.
The Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk was reported this morning by the Journal News that ticks have been found in the Westchester area to carry the powassan virus according to Thomas Daniel, entomologist at the Vector Ecology Laboratory.
Daniel warns that unlike lyme disease which takes several months to develop, powassan virus can start very quickly and be fatal in 10% of the cases. Daniel told The Journal News symptoms of Powassan virus can be fever, headache, vomitting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, seizures.
The Center for Disease Control suggests to protect yourself from picking up a tick you should wear protective clothing covering the skin (obviously wearing shorts, going barefoot, sitting barelegged on grass is not encouraged.) Insect spray is also recommended.