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The Sussex County Division of Health has started an investigation into the death of a Hampton man who had the rare tick-borne Powassan virus. According to the New Jersey Herald, the man died in May but the immediate cause of death has yet to be determined. A second unnamed Sussex County resident is confirmed to have Powassan and is reportedly recovering at home.
Donna Leusner, a spokesperson for the state Department of Health, told the New Jersey Herald that if the Hampton man's cause of death was the Powassan virus, it would be the second confirmed fatality from the virus in New Jersey. There is no medicine or cure for Powassan and it can cause symptoms like swelling of the brain, meningitis, seizures, confusion, loss of coordination, trouble speaking, memory loss, and more.
Dianne (Desormeaux) Rude told the New Jersey Herald that her father, Armand Desormeaux, was one of the confirmed Powassan cases in Sussex County and that he passed away on May 16 at Newton Medical Center. The 80-year-old reportedly started running a high fever on May 6 and his condition quickly deteriorated, suffering with tremors and inability to verbalize or move his limbs.
Read the NJHerald.com story here.