HYDE PARK, NYSenator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) today issued the following statement after the NYS Department of Health (DOH) confirmed a case of Powassan virus—a potentially fatal, but rare tick-borne disease, in Dutchess County:

“It is easy to assume that the threat of ticks ends with the summer season, but it is critically important for community members to remain vigilant as they enjoy fall activities as disease-carrying ticks can remain active until the temperature drops below the 40-45°F range.

The unseasonably warm weather we have experienced as of late has allowed many of us to enjoy extended time outdoors, and it is important for community members to take a proactive approach to protecting themselves in the wake of a confirmed case of Powassan virus here in Dutchess County.

As the Chair of the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases, I remind residents to take to heart the tips provided by DOH to ensure that we are safely enjoying all the outdoor activities our community has to offer. Tips include:

  • Planning ahead for your time outdoors and wearing light-colored clothing that covers the body in full so that you can easily spot ticks;
  • Checking for ticks regularly each time you, or your pets, return from time spent outdoors;
  • Shower as soon as possible; and
  • Utilize insect repellent and stay on cleared pathways when moving about outdoors.”


Recently, Senator Serino and Senator Kemp Hannon, Chair of the Senate’s Health Committee, held an extensive public hearing aimed at combatting the spread of tick-borne diseases. The event put an unprecedented spotlight on the issue in Albany and a report on the hearing is expected to be released within the week. For more information on the hearing and to watch it in full, click here.