AUGUSTA, Maine (WPRI) — The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) confirmed a fatal case of Powassan virus infection in Waldo County.

The unidentified adult developed neurologic symptoms and died while in the hospital, the Maine CDC said, adding that the person was likely infected in Maine.

The agency said Powassan virus cases are rare in the United States, with about 25 reported each year since 2015.

The disease isn’t just found in Maine, however. Last summer, a 70-year-old Rhode Island man contracted the virus.

Symptoms of Powassan virus infection typically start between a week and a month after a tick bite, according to Maine CDC. They include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss.

More severe symptoms are also possible, like brain or spinal cord inflammation and death, but the Maine CDC said many people infected by the virus don’t even get sick.

There is no treatment for the disease at this time, but the Maine CDC offered some tips on protecting yourself against all tick-borne diseases:

  • Use caution in areas where ticks may live and understand tick habitats (wooded and busy areas with tall grass)
  • Avoid those areas and stay in the center of trails when possible
  • Use an EPA-approved repellent on skin and use Permethrin on clothing for added protection.
  • Perform tick checks every day, especially after visiting potential locations with ticks
  • Ask your local veterinarian about tick bite prevention for cats and dogs