Powassan virus

noun

Po·​was·​san virus pə-ˈwä-sən- How to pronounce Powassan virus (audio)
variants or less commonly Powassan
1
: a flavivirus (species Powassan virus of the genus Flavivirus) that is transmitted to humans by infected ixodid ticks (especially deer ticks) and that causes a sometimes life-threatening illness
The first case, in 2008, involved a child with encephalitis who was found to be infected with the Powassan virus, an arbovirus that is related to West Nile virus.Bridget M. Kuehn
2
or Powassan disease or Powassan virus disease : the illness caused by the Powassan virus that is typically marked by fever, headache, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, seizures, and often encephalitis or meningitis but that may sometimes be asymptomatic

Note: Powassan virus was first reported in the Canadian municipality of Powassan, Ontario in 1958. The illness typically occurs in the northeastern U.S. and Great Lakes region.

Don't just worry about Lyme disease this summer—Powassan virus is also spread by ticks, and doctors say it could be much more dangerous.Charlotte Alter
Severe Powassan often needs hospitalization to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids or medications to reduce swelling in the brain.Nina Radcliff
… blacklegged ticks can also transmit anaplasmosis, babesiosis and Powassan disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Andy Ouriel
abbreviated POW, POWV
see also Powassan encephalitis

Examples of Powassan virus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The creatures’ bites can spread a range of rarer illnesses, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Powassan virus disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis, and alpha-gal syndrome. Jamie Ducharme, TIME, 31 May 2024 The Powassan virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected tick, and although still rare, reported cases of people sick with the virus have increased in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Amy Simonson, CNN, 9 Oct. 2023 Meanwhile, tick species from warmer regions—bearing diseases like the Powassan virus— are making their way north. Krista Langlois, Outside Online, 10 Mar. 2023 John Cranfield said county health officials told him Thursday that in addition to contracting West Nile, his brother was positive for Powassan virus, a rare and often severe disease caused by a virus spread to people by infected ticks. Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2023 In Connecticut, meanwhile, four residents tested positive for Powassan virus, the first infections in the state this year. Maia Pandey, NBC News, 25 Aug. 2023 Laboratory testing of blood or spinal fluid can also lead to a diagnosis of Powassan virus, according to the CDC. Emily Deletter, USA TODAY, 23 Aug. 2023 Some pathogens, such as the Powassan virus, can transmit in just 15 minutes. Timmy Broderick, Scientific American, 14 June 2023 Ticks that prefer cooler, wetter areas—like black-legged ticks (a.k.a. deer ticks), which can transmit Lyme disease, babesiosis, and Powassan virus—have been pushed north to new locations (hello, Canada). Julia Ries, SELF, 14 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Powassan virus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

after Powassan, town in Ontario, where an infection with the virus occurred in 1958

First Known Use

1959, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of Powassan virus was in 1959

Dictionary Entries Near Powassan virus

Cite this Entry

“Powassan virus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Powassan%20virus. Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition

Powassan virus

noun
Po·​was·​san virus pə-ˈwä-sən- How to pronounce Powassan virus (audio)
variants also Powassan
1
: a flavivirus (species Powassan virus of the genus Flavivirus) that is transmitted to humans by infected ixodid ticks (especially deer ticks) and that causes a sometimes life-threatening illness
2
or Powassan disease or Powassan virus disease : the illness caused by the Powassan virus that is typically marked by fever, headache, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, seizures, and often encephalitis or meningitis but that may sometimes be asymptomatic

Note: Powassan virus was first reported in the Canadian municipality of Powassan, Ontario in 1958. The illness typically occurs in the northeastern U.S. and Great Lakes region.

abbreviation POW, POWV
see powassan encephalitis
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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