WASHINGTON COUNTY, Rhode Island (WJW) – A state health department is warning about a confirmed death from a rare tick-borne disease.

Humans get Powassan virus disease from infected ticks. According to the CDC, many people never have symptoms, and it can take up to a month for any symptoms to show after a bite from an infected tick.

For those who do have symptoms, the CDC reports approximately 1 in 10 dies. Symptoms include a brain infection, spinal cord infection, seizures, and muscle paralysis.

CDC reports most people who survive severe cases have lifelong health problems.

The woman in this case was over the age of 80. She lived in Washington County, Rhode Island and developed neurological symptoms. She died in July. The Rhode Island Depart of Health (RIDOH) alerted the public Tuesday.

Their advice? Traditional tick safety with repellant and tick checks and removal.

According to RIDOH, Powassan is found mostly in the Great Lakes region, the Northeast and eastern Canada.

The CDC reports 11 total cases in 2023 in 6 states including Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

RIDOH reports cases have increased in recent years. There is no vaccine or treatment.