The Chronicle of the Horse profiles Julia Sipp, 11, whose passion is competitive pony riding - she trains at Mor Linn Farm in Walpole - and who was diagnosed with, and survived, Powassan Disease, a (so far) rare virus that is spread through ticks.
On May 20, she felt fine. On May 21, she developed a headache and fever. On May 26, her fever spiked, she went into convulsions and had to be rushed to Children's Hospital with swelling in her brain and spine.
Via ProMED-mail, an e-mail alerting system about emerging diseases, which notes:
Although ProMED-mail has not posted cases of POW virus infections in Massachusetts in recent years, cases have been reported in surrounding states, especially in New York. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 22 cases in Massachusetts in the past. The black-legged tick, _Ixodes scapularis_ was likely the POW virus vector in this case. This tick is relatively small and can easily be overlooked when feeding on a person. Avoidance of tick bites is the only preventive measure available, since there is no vaccine for it.