HYDE PARK, NY—With the Columbia County Department of Health issuing a tick alert in response to a possible case of Powassan virus, Senator Sue Serino today is reminding Hudson Valley residents to be vigilant in checking for ticks each time they come indoors. Senator Serino is also renewing her call for the state to dedicate increased resources to support research, education and awareness initiatives to help stop the scourge of Lyme and tick-borne diseases in New York.

“Ticks are out in full force this summer, and the detection of a possible case of Powassan virus here in the Hudson Valley should be a wake up call to us all,” said Senator Serino. “This is an important opportunity to remind our neighbors that awareness is the key to prevention, and taking simple steps to stay tick-free can make all the difference as we enjoy the great outdoors this summer.”

Powassan virus can cause severe disease, and while it is rare, the numbers of reported cases has increased in recent years according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Right now, New York is failing residents by refusing to adequately address the scourge of Lyme and tick-borne diseases,” Senator Serino continued. “While we were once making great progress in dedicating resources to research, education and prevention initiatives, that progress has stalled in recent years and this year, the Legislature’s Supermajority drastically cut funding to this important cause. New York State must step up and do significantly more to better prepare and protect New Yorkers against harmful tick-borne diseases. While the State Budget process has come and gone, we know that it is never too late for the state to find funds to direct to causes leaders consider worthy, and I urge lawmakers to join in the push for much needed funding and support.”

According to the New York State Department of Health, simple tips to prevent a tick-bite include:

·Wearing light-colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily, enclosed shoes, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt;

·Tucking pant legs into socks or boots and shirt into pants;

·Checking clothes and any exposed skin frequently for ticks while outdoors and checking again once indoors;

·Considering use of insect repellent and following label directions to do so;

·Staying on cleared, well-traveled trails and avoiding contact with vegetation; and

·Keeping long hair tied back, especially when gardening.

Senator Serino also took the opportunity to remind residents that the Thangamani Lab at SUNY Upstate Medical University offers free tick testing for the public. Those interested in sending any ticks they may find on themselves or on their pets should follow the instructions provided at this link: