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

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 1 Feb. 2023.

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
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