Second case of rare mosquito-borne virus found in N.H. this year

Monitor staff
Published: 9/29/2017 10:35:41 PM

A second case of a rare mosquito-borne virus has been confirmed in New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services has identified a case of Jamestown Canyon virus in an adult from Goffstown, although it’s not clear whether the disease was acquired in the state or from a mosquito bite while the victim was traveling.

The person’s condition was not released.

In August an adult in Hanover was treated and released for the virus-caused illness, which apparently had been transmitted by a mosquito bite in New Hampshire.

Jamestown Canyon virus is found throughout the U.S. but produces few or no symptoms in most people, which makes it hard to judge how widespread it is. Only about 50 cases have been serious enough to be reported nationally since 2000.

Like West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis, Johnson Canyon virus has the potential to cause serious health complications, including infections of the central nervous system.

Before this year it had been identified just twice in New Hampshire, in 2013 and late 2015.

Jamestown Canyon virus is one of several diseases carried by mosquitoes and ticks that have arisen in New England in recent years, partly because warming climate allow them to spread and partly because of increased efforts for detection.

“We want residents and visitors to continue to enjoy the outdoors, but they should take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites as long as mosquitoes are still around,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan.

Until the second hard frost of the season – defined as two consecutive hours of temperatures below 28 degrees – mosquitos are still active.

David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog, as well as moderator of the monthly Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.

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