According to the CDC, Human Powassan (POW) virus infections spiked in 2016 which is the most recent year they have finalized data from. A majority of cases were reported right here in Minnesota.

Most of the cases reported have been in northern Minnesota and most that contract POW show no signs or suffer with minor symptoms like fever, headache, vomiting, and fatigue. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, more serious long-term effects are possible like seizures, memory loss and swelling on the brain. People suffering with those severe conditions often need to be hospitalized for treatment.

POW cases are typically reported when ticks are most active from late spring to mid-fall.Ticks can cause a variety of Illnesses. Newsday reports the cases of tick, mosquito and flea caused illnesses have more than tripled nationwide.