A New York teenager who collapsed in his backyard and died later at a hospital is believe to have contracted a deadly disease from a tick. Joseph Elone, a 17-year-old from Poughkeepsie, had symptoms that mostly resembled a summer cold for a few weeks, but it was much more than that making the teen sick, according to "Fox and Friends" live on Thursday Aug. 22.
NBC News reports that this honor student was taken to the local hospital after he collapsed at home and later died from what initial tests suggest is a tick contracted disease called Powassan encephalitis. The virus, which is untreatable, is transmitted within a matter of minutes from a bite of a tick that is a carrier of this disease.
Powassan encephalitis, the deadly disease, was showing symptoms in Elone that mirrored a summer cold, according to his family. He had a minor cough, fatigue and a headache for about two weeks before his death, but his family said it seemed like just a cold.
Elone was an honor student with plans to go on to college to become an environmental engineer. Now he is dead from what is believed to be an undetected tick bite.
Powassan encephalitis is carried in some variant by six percent of ticks in the Hudson Valley, a recent study published in the journal Parasites & Vectors reveals. The number is low in comparison to Lyme disease carriers, but it's also higher than expected for this disease.
What makes this disease even more frightening is the lack of tests to detect the disease when it is present, along with lack of a treatment or cure. Dr. David Roth, co-chair of the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance said:
"There are no diagnostic tests for the disease, and no treatments that are effective."