Uncommon mosquito illness confirmed in Michigan, New Hampshire | The climate channel – Article from the climate channel


  • The virus has become more common in recent years.
  • Scientists and health experts say climate change could lead to an increase in mosquito-borne diseases.
  • Last year there was a record outbreak of Eastern equine encephalitis.

In a year already overcome by a global pandemic, a rare mosquito-borne disease will emerge in at least two states.

The Michigan Department of Health announced this week a confirmed case of the Jamestown Canyon virus, which is transmitted by the same type of mosquito that carries other more common diseases like the West Nile virus.

The infected person lives in Ottawa County, on the shores of Lake Michigan west of Grand Rapids, including the city of Holland.

New Hampshire reported a case of illness earlier this month. The infections are both states’ first reports of a mosquito-borne virus this year.

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No additional information was released about the patient in Michigan. The New Hampshire resident was hospitalized with neurological symptoms but has since been discharged and is recovering at home, the state health department said.

The disease is transmitted to humans from mosquitoes who bite infected animals, most commonly deer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s not spread from person to person, the CDC added.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and headache. They can appear a few days to two weeks after being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus. Severe cases can lead to encephalitis or meningitis. About half of people with this disease are hospitalized, but most recover.

KEY LARGO, FLORIDA - JULY 8: Bruce Stevens and Chris Law (LR) of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Division use a drone loaded with BTI larvicide to disperse it over an area while they work on mosquitos with dengue fever exterminate on July 8, 2020 in Key Largo, Florida.  11 cases of dengue have been confirmed in the Florida Keys and all in Key Largo.  The disease is transmitted through the bite of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito.  Officials are urging residents to stop the spread of the disease by clearing potential breeding grounds for Aedes aegypti.  This includes cleaning gutters and draining stagnant water into empty pots, buckets, trash cans, and dog bowls.  (Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Bruce Stevens and Chris Law (LR) of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Division use a drone loaded with BTI larvicide to disperse it over an area as they work on dengue mosquitoes on July 8, 2020 in Key Largo, Florida – Eradicate fever.

(Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

According to the CDC, between 2009 and 2018, 181 people in 17 states were infected with the Jamestown Canyon virus and three died. The disease has been on the rise since 2016 – the largest outbreak was in Wisconsin with 43 cases in 2017.

Michigan previously reported three cases – two in 2018 and one last year, according to the state health department. According to the CDC, at least three people have been infected in New Hampshire in the past few years.

There is always a risk that mosquitoes will spread through mosquitoes during the warmer months, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in a press release.

“This is an important reminder to stay vigilant and guard against mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall,” Khaldun said.

Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet, according to the CDC. The World Mosquito Program states that each year more than 700 million people are infected with mosquito-borne diseases and about 1 million die. Many of these are in developing countries, where diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever are more common.

In the United States, we hear most about the West Nile virus, which infected 958 people nationwide in 2019 and killed 54 people, according to the CDC.

Last year there was also a record number of cases of the rare but fatal Eastern Equine Encephalitis. The CDC reported that 38 people in the United States were infected, more than twice as many as any other year in the past decade, and 15 died. At least 10 of these cases were in Michigan.

(MORE: The Great Lakes are record warm right now. Here’s why that matters.)

Scientists and health experts say climate change and warmer temperatures, as well as more people living in forest areas, may lead to an increase in mosquito-borne diseases. Longer, hotter summers mean a more active mosquito season.

“We’re now realizing … the season is starting earlier,” Dina M. Fonseca, director of the Rutgers University Center for Vector Biology, told Asbury Park Press. “We don’t get the hard frosts that tend to kill adults.”

Rising temperatures also allow mosquitoes to move into regions where they may not previously have been common.

“The warmer the area, the warmer the mosquito is, which allows the virus to multiply faster,” said Marcus Blagrove, a researcher at the University of Liverpool who published a study on the spread of the Zika virus, told New Scientist . “That is usually why mosquito-borne viruses have large outbreaks in hot countries, especially during hot times of the world [the] Year.”

The best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid getting bitten. Follow these tips from the CDC to protect yourself:

-Use insect repellant.

– Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.

– Use screens on windows and doors, and air conditioning if available.

-Remove all external containers that may contain water. This is a prime place for mosquitos to lay eggs.

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic role is to cover the latest weather news, the environment, and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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