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The Poughkeepsie Journal, September 10, 2013
see video, captioned: Poughkeepsie mourns teen Joseph Elone: Mourners talk about Poughkeepsie teen Joseph Elone, who died suddenly, possibly due to the tick-borne Powassan virus. 8/16/13, 8:51 PM
Medical officials are still trying to determine what caused the Aug. 5 death of 17-year-old Joseph Elone, now that test results for the rare, tick-borne virus Powassan encephalitis came back negative.
Elone did test positive for acute disseminated Lyme disease, according to Dutchess County Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Kari Reiber.
“The state lab performs a series of complex tests. ... They did show acute disseminated Lyme disease, but Powassan was excluded,” Reiber said.
Elone’s exact cause of death should “hopefully be confirmed this week,” Reiber said.
The grieving family is waiting, too, although no answer will bring back what they’ve lost.
“Be it Lyme or be it Powassan — people need to know that it can kill a strong, physical guy,” said Benedict Elone, Joseph’s father.
The teenager was tested for Lyme in July because he had been feeling run down, his father said. Doctors thought he had a virus.
That test was negative.
The Elones were later told by doctors that a negative test would mean their son “wouldn’t have had it for more than four weeks; he wouldn’t have built up antibodies,” his dad said.
Diane Elone found her son lying on the front lawn of the family’s City of Poughkeepsie home after the pair took a trip to Rite Aid in the afternoon of Aug. 4 to buy him cough drops. He wasn’t breathing.
He was flown to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla and a few minutes after midnight on Aug. 5 — his mother’s birthday — Joseph Elone was declared dead.
“We’re waiting from the state for final testing, then the autopsy will be issued from Westchester Medical Center,” Reiber said.
Nina Schutzman:firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-451-4518 Twitter: @pojonschutzman