I am not an outdoorsy kind of guy. Oh yeah, back in high school I Hiked over the Cascades, twice. Other than that, the closest I've gotten to the outdoors is when I mow my lawn. But if I loved to camp or go hunting this is something I would be concerned about. 

In the northeast of the United States and also the Great Lakes region, there's been an outbreak of a very deadly virus. It's called the Powassan virus, and it's spread to human beings through tick bites. 

Close up Macro of Deer Tick Crawling on Straw

 according to cdc.gov,
Most cases in the United States occur in the northeast and Great Lakes regions from late spring through mid-fall when ticks are most active. There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat Powassan virus disease.” 

Many people who are infected with the virus have no symptoms at all. People who do experience symptoms will have them occur anywhere from one week to one month after the initial bite. Those symptoms can include fever, headaches, vomiting and weakness. In severe cases, this disease can cause encephalitis and meningitis. 


Around one in 10 people infected with this virus will die, and about half of them will have long-term health problems.  

The scariest part of this disease is that there is no cure. The best advice is to rest with lots of fluids and over-the-counter pain meds to relieve some of the symptoms. If the disease becomes severe, hospitalization is probably going to be necessary to supply support for breathing, staying hydrated, or reducing swelling in the brain. 

If you live in the Northwest, relax. 


Yes, we do have ticks in the Northwest. Just ask anybody that likes to camp or go hunting or even likes to go out and walk their dog. What we don't have, thankfully, is ticks carrying this particular virus and as of right now, it doesn't seem like they're heading in our direction. You do need to protect yourself from ticks, however. 

According to cdc.gov.
“Ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas, or even on animals. Spending time outside walking your dog, camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks. Many people get ticks in their own yard or neighborhood.” 

Finding a Geocache

“Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Check these parts of your body and your child’s body for ticks: 

  • Under the arms 
  • In and around the ears 
  • Inside belly button 
  • Back of the knees 
  • In and around the hair 
  • Between the legs 
  • Around the waist” 

 When you're out hiking or hunting in the woods, please protect yourself.  

Closeup of human hands remove dog adult tick from the fur.,dog health care concept. animal hospital concept.

And don't forget to check for ticks. 

Powassan Virus | Powassan | CDC 

Preventing tick bites | Ticks | CDC 

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