News & Events

For Immediate Release

Bookmark & Share
Contact: Kathryn Ryan, 914-740-2100, kryan@liebertpub.com
Rising Incidence of Tick-Borne Powassan Virus Infection in North America

New Rochelle, NY, May 23, 2017–Cases of human infection with Powassan virus (POWV), which can cause fatal neuroinvasive disease and long-term neurological effects, appear to be increasing in the United States. POWV is transmitted by Ixodes tick species found in North America. A comprehensive review of this potential emerging public health threat, the most recent research on the virus and its tick vector, and the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of POWV disease is published in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Journal website.

In the article "Powassan Virus: An Emerging Arbovirus of Public Health Concern in North America," coauthors Meghan Hermance and Saravanan Thangamani, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, provide a detailed review of POWV and discuss the recent increase in cases, noting that it may indicate a true emergence of the virus in certain regions where the transmitting tick is particularly prevalent, or it could be due to increased POWV surveillance and diagnosis. Most of the cases in the U.S. have occurred in the northeastern and midwestern states. The authors discuss the history and geographic distribution of POWV and how it is transmitted. They provide an overview of the clinical disease caused by infection with POWV and offer recommendations for future research priorities.

"The recent increase in the number of reported cases of Powassan virus, which is the North American relative of several highly pathogenic Asian and European viruses, is very worrisome, especially given the abundance and distribution of potential tick vectors," says Stephen Higgs, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, and Director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.

About the Journal

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with open access options and in print dedicated to diseases transmitted to humans by insects or animals.  Led by says Stephen Higgs, Ph.D., Director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, the Journal covers a widespread group of vector and zoonotic-borne diseases including bacterial, chlamydial, rickettsial, viral, and parasitic zoonoses and provides a unique platform for basic and applied disease research. The Journal also examines geographic, seasonal, and other risk factors that influence the transmission, diagnosis, management, and prevention of zoonotic diseases that pose a threat to public health worldwide. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases is the official journal of SocZEE, the Society for Zoonotic Ecology and Epidemiology. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately, held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Viral Immunology, Health Security, and Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.    140 Huguenot St., New Rochelle, NY 10801-5215    www.liebertpub.com

                                 Phone: (914) 740-2100    (800) M-LIEBERT    Fax:  (914) 740-2101