Keystone Virus - Another Threat to Humans from Mosquitoes

Posted by Mosquito Squad

July 24, 2018

We hear more and more about the dangers that mosquito borne illness can bring. It has come to a point that mosquito repellent outdoors is as important as sunscreen on the beach. And now we have yet another example…the Keystone Virus. Named after the location in Florida where it was first discovered in 1964, the Keystone Virus isn’t actually new. What is new is that they’ve found the first human instance of the Keystone Virus. That’s a game changer.

What is Keystone Virus?

Since its discovery in 1964, the Keystone virus has been found in animals such as squirrels, raccoons, and deer from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay. The virus is spread by the aedes atlanticus mosquito, a cousin to the mosquito that spreads Zika. Human symptoms have only been mild fever and rash at this point, however, the virus is part of a family of illnesses that can lead to encephalitis so all possible effects aren’t known as of yet. There is no vaccination or specific treatment available for the Keystone virus.

The Discovery

If Keystone has been around since 1964 then how is it possible that this is the first human case reported? “It’s one of these instances where if you don’t know to look for something, you don’t find it,” says J. Glenn Morris, MD, MPH, director of the University of Florida Emerging Pathogens Institute and the lead in the study that discovered this human case. In August of 2016, a teenage boy entered an urgent care with a rash all over his chest and back and a mild fever. With Zika being a big scare in Florida at the time, he was tested, but the tests came out negative. In fact it took a year and a half of testing, long after he recovered, for the research group to come to the finding that this was the first recorded human case of the Keystone Virus. The researchers now believe that it is possible that the illness is much more widespread in Florida. Continued study is necessary to find just how prevalent this might really be.

The Solutions

The CDC reports that cases of mosquito, tick, and flea-borne illnesses have tripled between 2004 and 2016 and that these illnesses are not only on the rise but on the move. What may be reported in one part of the country can easily and quickly travel the globe so it seems. That being the case you must protect yourself wherever you are. The only true protection is to avoid the bites. Keeping mosquitoes away when you are out and about requires the right repellent. The CDC and FDA suggest repellents that contain DEET along with protective clothing.

However, at Mosquito Squad of Louisville, we want to make this simpler and less confining at home. No one wants to sit in their own backyard on a nice summer day in long sleeves and long pants, covering themselves with smelly repellent every two hours. Instead, let us suggest our barrier treatment. It eliminates 85-90% of mosquitoes on contact and continues to work for up to 3 weeks. Continued treatment all season long keeps the mosquitoes out of your yard and helps to make it the fun and relaxing habitat it’s meant to be… for humans, not mosquitoes. Call us today for more details.