New York Man Dies From Tick Carrying Brain Swelling Virus


The daughter of a man who lived just outside the Hudson Valley is warning the public after her father died from a tick that carries a rare brain swelling virus.

In early May or late April, 74-year-old Charles Smith of Saratoga County discovered a tick bite near his elbow. Ten days later, Smith became very sick and was rushed to a hospital.

After a number of tests, he was diagnosed with the Powassan virus and died in early
June, reports WYNT.

The Powassan virus is spread by the same deer tick that carries Lyme disease. Powassan, which in some cases has been fatal, attacks the nervous system and can cause a dangerous brain swelling.

Other symptoms can include vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures and memory loss.

There is currently no treatment for the virus, which according to the CDC kills around 10% of people who become sick. Half are left with permanent neurological problems.

At the families urging, on Wednesday, the New York State Department of Health confirmed that Smith was diagnosed with the Powassan virus.

“Why has it taken us to to contact you to make people aware?” Stephanie wondered to WYNT.

To decrease your risk of being infected with the Powassan virus the CDC recommends using tick repellents, wearing long sleeves and pants, avoiding bushy and wooded areas and doing thorough tick checks after spending time outdoor.

Correction: This article originally stated that the death of 17-year-old Poughkeepsie High School Joseph Elone in 2013 was from Powassan virus.
While Powassan virus was initially suspected, Elone in fact died of Lyme carditis, according to the Lyme Action Network.


If you’ve read the articles I’ve posted this summer about Powassan you will realize it can no longer be called “rare.”  Too many have died in such a short period of time.

Also, the daughter of the deceased makes a valid point:  she had to contact authorities.  This is a huge reason why they are stating it is “rare.”  How many people are going to think of contacting authorities when they are grieving a loved one?  This should be a reportable disease in every state, requiring health professionals to report it.  This should also hold true for every other tick borne infection.  Those of us with boots on the ground know full well these infections are NOT rare – just rarely diagnosed and reported.

Despite what authorities say, there are things you can do for viruses besides hydrate people:  Ozone was first used in medicine at the end of the 19th century to treat tuberculosis.  During World War I, medics used it to disinfect wounds. Since the 1950s, ozone therapy has gained popularity throughout the world. More than 45,000 physicians in 50 countries now administer ozone.  Ozone is typically administered with one of two different IV methods:

Major Auto-Hemotherapy (MAH), in which blood is drawn from the patient, exposed to ozone and re-injected into the patient.

Direct Intravenous Ozone Therapy (DIV), in which oxygen and ozone are directly infused into the patient’s bloodstream.  Here ozone has an inhibitory effect upon parasites.  The parasites are subjected to an increased oxidative stress, and their reproductive cycle is disrupted. Ozonation was carried out at a concentration of 80 µg/ml in a RBC suspension. Optimal growth inhibition was obtained by applying ozone twice, i.e. immediately before and after infection.  More About Viruses
“In each reproducing cell in our bodies there are two substances: RNA and DNA – the ‘helix’ form discovered by Crick and Watson. They contain the genetic blueprint for the cell, and the whole body. Viruses are not cells, they are either RNA or DNA genetic material – but not both – surrounded by a coat of protein. Since they have only half of the genetic material, they cannot reproduce on their own. They multiply by attaching themselves to the inner RNA or DNA of normal cells, taking it over and forcing the cell to make more of the virus. Picture slave labor. They wait there and emerge when our defenses are down! Outside of their host cell they are basically inert so it is clear that they are ‘hiding out’ in the cells, and must be uncovered within the cell to be destroyed before they manifest their destructive potential. This is where the amazing property of ozone to invade diseased cells, uncovering and destroying the disease or virus, is so effective.”

Although MAH improves many diseases and conditions, it rarely eliminates them. So many doctors prefer DIV, which is safer to perform, yet more powerful in its effects.  “DIV is the only way you can get rid of something,” says Robins.  According to proponents, ozone therapy is broadly effective because it attacks and removes disease-causing agents, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, molds, yeast, and toxic metals.

Although ozone therapy is often denigrated by mainstream physicians in the U.S., in other countries such as Germany, it is considered safe and a standard of care.  “When people ask why ozone therapy isn’t more available in the United States, I say it’s because it’s not a patentable medicine and the drug companies can’t make any money off it,” says Robins. “That’s probably the main reason why it’s been suppressed.”

For a list of ozone therapists, go to

More on Powassan:

An unpublished 2010 study showed more than 15% of Lyme patients had Powassan. A study completed in May of 106 patients with suspected acute tick borne disease showed 10.4 % had Powassan.

Coppe Labs in Wisconsin is a CLIA certified lab – the only other lab that tests for Powassan besides the CDC.  They also test for many other viruses and can tell if the virus is active or latent.

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