Health & Medicine

For The First Time, Keystone Virus Makes A Jump From Mosquitoes To Human

A new mosquito-borne virus has been confirmed by the researchers of the Florida University; it earlier was to infect only animals but in a new study published earlier this month shows that the virus has jumped from infecting animals to infecting people now for the first time.

Glenn Morris, the director of University’s Emerging Pathogen Institute, made a statement that the first case of Keystone virus was positively reported in a teen aged 16, after a year of thorough analysis and tests on him. Morris also told at initial stage they couldn’t identify the virus with their standard approach and took them literally a year and a half to sort and figure out which virus was it. Last summer, the teen had attended the band camp in the parts of North Florida; it is likely during this duration of time he might have got infected with the virus, as post camp he is suffering from severe fever and rashes. At that time, doctors were clueless about the symptoms and tested against Zika and also for other pathogens, but no progress was made, leading to no conclusions.

In 1964, the Keystone virus was discovered in the north-western part of Tampa and was found in the animal populations extending from coastal regions spreading from Texas to Chesapeake Bay.

It is reported that the Keystone virus is cause by aedes atlanticus, a common Florida mosquito basically a relative to the insect that carries Zika virus. Zika virus is a part of a group of virus, which causes encephalitis i.e. inflammation of the brain in species including humans. It is still not known whether keystone virus has such symptoms.

One of the concerned raised by Morris was that there may be a probability that a lot more cases of Keystone virus may be present in the south-east part of North America carrying the virus.     

Chaitra Josephine

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