#5: Cases of Rare Mosquito-Borne Virus Spring Up in Two US States
A relatively rare mosquito-borne virus has hit a couple of US states this summer, and it has health officials urging individuals to take the proper precautions against mosquito bites. The disease in question? Jamestown Canyon virus (JVS).
Spread to individuals through the bite of an infected mosquito, JVS is an orthobunyavirus in the California serogroup known to be capable of causing “acute febrile illness, meningitis, or meningoencephalitis.” A recent analysis confirmed 31 cases of JVS in the United States between 2000 and 2013, spanning 13 states. The geographic range of JVS remains unclear; cases occurred in western, Midwestern, northeastern, and southern states from 2000 to 2013. JVS infections tend to occur from spring to early fall, with about half of reported cases resulting in hospitalization. The good news is, no associated deaths have been reported to date.
On July 13, 2017, the Maine Center for Disease Control & Prevention, an Office of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed a case of the virus in an adult from Kennebec County. The infected individual reportedly had symptom onset in early June 2017. Although the case required hospitalization, the individual has since returned home to recover.
Learn more about this rare mosquito-borne disease, here
#4: Zika Virus May Persist in Semen Less Than 6 Months
Zika may not survive in semen as long as researchers previously thought. Although previous reports indicated that the virus may persist in semen for up to 188 days, a new study, recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is disputing that finding, instead providing evidence that the Zika virus only lasts in semen for about a month.
In the new study, researchers from the Military Center for Epidemiology and Public Health in Marseille, France looked at semen and blood samples from 12 men in French Guiana who were infected with the Zika virus. The results of the study indicated that “one man excreted Zika virus in his semen for at least 3 days. And, 7 had Zika-laced semen for at least a month. The maximum duration of detectable Zika in semen in the study was 45 days,” according to a press release. In addition, the researchers discovered that the virus is able to replicate in the testicles and semen-producing glands. This was determined because the viral load detected in the men’s blood was significantly different than in their semen.
Study author Franck de Laval, MD, and his colleagues wrote that “these data suggest that not all men who are symptomatically infected with Zika virus will have Zika virus RNA detectable in semen. [However,] more data are needed to better inform public health recommendations.”
Continue reading about this new Zika discovery, here