Keystone Virus in Texas - Is It A Threat?

Author: Mosquito Squad of St. Petersburg - Clearwater

Did you know there are mosquito-borne viruses that harm other animals, but not humans? Texas Public Radio shared a recent report in Clinical Infectious Diseases about the first human case of the Keystone Virus.

About two years ago, a Florida teen went to urgent care with a fever and a rash. He was checked for several illnesses including the Zika virus since at the time Zika had just recently started circulating in the US. However, at the end of the initial testing, they found nothing and sent the boy home. Even though there was no permanent effect on the teen, J. Glenn Morris, director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, and a group of researchers continued the testing for almost a year and a half. It was through what Morris called “dogged laboratory work” that they were able to identify the Keystone Virus finally.

What is the Keystone Virus?

Keystone is named for the area of Florida in which it was discovered in 1964. It is carried by the Aedes atlanticus mosquito, cousin to the Aedes aegypti known to carry West Nile and Zika. It is most regularly found near woods and water, making campers the more likely victims of its bites. Since 1964, this disease has been found in animal populations along the coast from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay, most recently in Orange and Galveston Counties. This is the first human instance ever found though.

Morris believes there have been many unreported cases in humans, but it was never discovered simply because it wasn’t something they were looking for. So far the only symptoms are a mild fever and rash. The Director of the Galveston National Laboratory at the University of Texas, James LeDuc does not expect the Keystone virus to cause much human illness unless it mutates. The Texas Department of Health Services agrees but will continue to watch for increased instances of the virus. It does not seem to cause encephalitis, but it is part of a pathogen family that does.

Mosquito-Borne Disease Prevention is as Important as Ever

It doesn’t seem this discovery is a risk to public health, however with the CDC reporting increases of disease from mosquitoes over the last 18 years; you can never be too careful. The best way to keep from getting sick from a mosquito bite is not to get bitten. When you are out exploring and enjoying all the nature New Braunfels, Spring Branch and the rest of South Central Texas has to offer; it’s imperative that you choose the best insect repellents for you, your family, and your pets. However, at home wouldn’t you rather not have to continue to spray yourself down every couple of hours to be able to enjoy the outdoors?

Mosquito Squad of South Central Texas knows the value of being able to relax with the least bit of effort when in your own home and yard. That’s why we believe that you will find great value in our services. Our mosquito barrier treatment eliminates 85-90% of existing mosquitoes in your yard and continues to work for up to 3 weeks. Our continued services can be the key to enjoying your outdoor spaces without mosquitoes all season long. Call us today to schedule your first backyard mosquito treatment.