This from Bruce Y. Lee at Forbes.
“Just in case you were thinking, ‘why can’t you catch more infectious diseases from mosquitoes,’ you can now add Keystone Virus infection to the list of mosquito-borne illnesses. That’s based on a case report recently published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases by a team from the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida.
Keystone virus may not be the first thing you think about when you develop a low grade fever and a large bumpy rash on your body. (The first thing you probably think is, ‘what is this large bumpy rash doing on my body?’) Certainly, doctors weren’t thinking Keystone Virus when they first saw a 16-year-old male at an urgent care clinic in north central Florida in August 2016. The Keystone Virus is a type of orthobunyavirus and was first discovered in Aedes atlanticus mosquitoes back in 1964. This occurred in Keystone, Florida, hence the name. Until this recent case report, there had been no documented situations of the virus causing disease in humans. And based on the case report, the teenager was not a gray squirrel, a raccoon, or a whitetailed deer (three animals that are more commonly infected with the virus), unless the teenager was wearing some type of elaborate costume.
No, this 16-year-old seemed to be human and otherwise healthy when he began feeling ‘warm’ the night before the urgent care clinic visit. That following morning a red, bumpy rash started appearing on his chest and then progressively spread to his abdomen, arms, back, and face. The rash did not hurt or itch but seemed to get worse with heat and sunlight. He did feel a bit fatigued and had discomfort in his ankles but blamed these problems on band camp. Yes, that one time in band camp, he had put on new band shoes and continued to wear those new shoes throughout the band camp that he was still attending that summer. Oh, and those many times in band camp, he was bitten by mosquitoes, despite his wearing DEET.
Initial testing did not reveal usual suspects such as mononucleosis or Zika infection, but eventually more advanced testing found the Keystone Virus. Since there is currently not much you can do about a Keystone Virus infection, except say, “you have a Keystone virus infection,” the teenager did not receive specific treatment. The rash eventually disappeared 2 days later without any apparent further consequences. So, for now, infection with the Keystone Virus doesn’t seem to be a serious problem. However, as they say with underwear and life, things can change. This is simply one case and one infection. Time will tell if other more serious cases are found. Plus, viruses can mutate and eventually become more troublesome. Just look at what happened to the Zika virus, which previously was thought to be harmless.
The trouble is mosquitoes suck. And then serve as Ubers for pathogens, carrying them from animal-to-animal, animal-to-humans, and humans-to-humans. The list of mosquito-borne illnesses already reads like a long menu that you do not want to order from and includes includes malaria, dengue, Zika, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, Ross River fever, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, and Eastern equine encephalitis. Of course, not all mosquitoes are the same. Different species can carry different pathogens. At present, Aedes atlanticus mosquitoes seem to be the primary carrier for the Keystone Virus but there are signs that other Aedes species may be able to carry the virus as well.
While there is no reason to panic and go all Keystone Kops because of this new discovery, it will be important to follow the Keystone Virus more closely. Also, doctors should be aware of this as a possible diagnosis. Moreover, this further highlights the need for better mosquito control. Bill Gates didn’t call the mosquito the World’s Deadliest Animal for nothing. After all, how many times do you hear a story begin, and one time at band camp, there was this hippo and."