June 22, 2018- Is the Keystone Virus a tick borne disease? We don't know yet. Researchers didn't think this virus could infect humans, but it recently made a teenager in Florida sick, so we need to be prepared and keep an open mind. Tick borne or mosquito borne- it is a virus that can cause serious symptoms.
And as J. Glen Morris (director of the University of Florida's Emerging Pathogens Institute) stated, "It's one of these instances where if you don't know to look for something, you don't find it."
Keystone Virus Isolated from a Florida Teenager with Rash and Subjective Fever:
Another Endemic Arbovirus in the Southeastern United States?
QUOTE- "A 16-year-old boy, the first confirmed case of the Keystone virus in humans, is leading researchers to believe the virus could be widespread in North Florida."
QUOTE- "We couldn't identify what was going on," J. Glenn Morris, director of the university's Emerging Pathogens Institute, told NPR member station WUSF. "We screened this with all the standard approaches and it literally took a year and a half of sort of dogged laboratory work to figure out what this virus was....
Morris suspects many people might have the Keystone virus."
QUOTE- "The case has opened doors for ways to test humans to see if they have the disease, which is a cousin to the Zika-spreading Aedes aegypti [mosquito]."
QUOTE- ""Although the virus has never previously been found in humans, the infection may actually be fairly common in North Florida," Dr. J. Glenn Morris, director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, said in the statement. "It's one of these instances where if you don't know to look for something, you don't find it."
"Although the teen's symptoms were mild, it's possible that the Keystone virus may cause more severe symptoms in people, including brain infections. Two relatives of the Keystone virus, the Jamestown Canyon virus and La Crosse encephalitis virus, can cause inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis."
"While the teenage boy showed no signs of encephalitis (inflammation of the brain that can be fatal), Keystone is a part of a group of viruses "known to cause encephalitis in several species, including humans..."
"While there is no current test, vaccine, or antiviral treatment for Keystone, experts recommend doing everything you can to prevent mosquito bites from happening in the first place."