Jamestown Canyon virus detected in Suffolk mosquito for the first time in 2022

Title: Mosquito Sample in Suffolk County Tests Positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus, West Nile Cases Rising

In a concerning development, Suffolk County health officials have announced the detection of the Jamestown Canyon virus in a mosquito sample collected in Sayville on July 18. This marks the first instance of the virus being identified in the area this year.

Alongside the Jamestown Canyon virus discovery, five other mosquito samples from Lindenhurst, Northport, Greenlawn, and Mastic Beach were found to be positive for the West Nile virus. This brings the total number of West Nile-infected mosquito samples to 12 so far this year.

Fortunately, there have been no reported cases of West Nile virus affecting humans in Suffolk County this year, unlike last year when 11 cases were documented. However, health authorities urge caution as the virus poses a significant health risk.

The West Nile virus is well-known as the leading cause of mosquito-borne diseases across the continental United States. Shockingly, 8 out of 10 people who become infected exhibit no symptoms, while 1 in 5 develop symptoms such as fever and fatigue. Severe illness arises in approximately 1 in 50 individuals.

In addition to West Nile, the Jamestown Canyon virus has also garnered concern. Although it has never been documented in Suffolk County before, it is capable of causing various symptoms including fever, fatigue, headache, and respiratory issues. Severe manifestations such as encephalitis or meningitis are also possible.

Officials advise the public to take precautions against mosquito bites by wearing protective clothing and applying insect repellent containing at least 30% DEET. Furthermore, local municipalities may initiate spraying measures to control mosquito populations.

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While Nassau County has not identified the Jamestown Canyon virus in mosquitoes this year, it was detected last year. One mosquito in Nassau County did test positive for West Nile this year, but no human cases have been reported thus far.

As health authorities work diligently to monitor these mosquito-borne diseases, it is crucial for residents to remain vigilant and follow necessary precautions. Further updates will be provided as the situation develops.

Phil Schwartz

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