First Time Ever: Two Deadly Tick and Mosquito Viruses Now in New Hampshire
When thinking of mosquitos and bugs, we often think of the Zika and West Nile viruses.
We have been trained to think of these since we were kids. However, there are a lot more lethal viruses transmitted through insects, and two just arrived in New Hampshire for the first time.
According to a Boston Globe article:
The first human case of Jamestown Canyon virus this year has been identified in New Hampshire, where public health officials have also discovered two cases of Powassan virus, both of which are spread by bites from insects.
According to the Boston Globe, the Jamestown Canyon Virus was identified in an adult in Hillsboro County, whereas the Powassan virus was discovered in an adult in Rockingham County and a child from Carroll County.
What Are These Viruses?
According to the CDC, the Jamestown Canyon virus is spread through mosquito bites.
The virus is found throughout much of the United States, but most cases are reported from the upper Midwest. Cases occur from late spring through mid-fall. Fever, headache, and fatigue are common symptoms with Jamestown Canyon virus disease. Jamestown Canyon virus can cause severe disease, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat Jamestown Canyon virus infection.
The Powassan Virus is spread through tick bites. According to the CDC, there is no cure for this virus, and:
Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, and weakness. Powassan virus can cause severe disease, including infection of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis).
Although it is getting colder and these viruses will be nonexistent once winter settles in, we are not at that point yet.
I had a bonfire last weekend, and was eaten alive by mosquitos. We sometimes forget the nasty viruses that these insects can carry.
“Mosquitoes will be with us until the first hard frost, and ticks remain active as long as there is no snow cover and temperatures remain above freezing,” Ryan Tannian, chief of the agency’s Bureau of Infectious Disease Control, said in a statement. “Preventing the bites that cause illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks is a key factor in reducing the risk for illness.”
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