ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York health officials say an upstate resident has died after contracting a rare tick-borne illness.

The state Department of Health announced Wednesday that the victim was found to have had the Powassan virus after dying last month, but the illness hasn't been medically confirmed to have caused the death.

Health officials issued a warning to alert the public that the virus had been found locally, but the agency didn't release the victim's age, gender or hometown.

WNYT-TV in Albany reports ( ) the victim was a 74-year-old Saratoga County man who was bitten by a tick in late April, saw a doctor a few days later and fell ill shortly afterward. His family says he died June 6.

The Powassan virus is transmitted by infected deer ticks. It causes brain swelling that can be fatal.


Information from: WNYT-TV,

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