(WNBC-TV) — A New York teenager who collapsed in his yard and later died may have been bitten by a tick carrying a deadly disease, his family says.

Seventeen-year-old Joseph Elone of Poughkeepsie, an honor roll student who wanted to become an environmental engineer, died shortly after midnight Aug. 5, according to his family.

“Joe was full of life, gifted in so many things,” said grieving father Benedict Elone.

Elone had a minor cough, fatigue and a headache for about two weeks before his death, but his family said it seemed like a summer cold.

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