1 case of Jamestown Canyon virus confirmed in RI

PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said a South County man in his 50s tested positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus (JCV).

The man exhibited neurological symptoms and is recovering, the DEM added.

The virus is spread through mosquito bites and is commonly found in North America. JCV can cause mild symptoms, including fever, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue. In rare cases, JCV can also lead to serious central nervous system diseases such as meningitis or encephalitis.

The DEM said human cases can occur from late spring to mid-autumn.

The agency also monitors West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). No positive isolations were confirmed in the 115 samples taken on July 19, according to the DEM. Results from the July 26 sample collection are pending.

The prevalence of WNV, EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases tends to increase during the summer. Connecticut and Massachusetts have both detected WNV in samples.

The DEM suggests taking the following measures to reduce the risk of having contact with mosquitoes:

  • Put screens on windows and doors
  • Reschedule outdoor activities that take place at sunrise and sunset
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET (20-30%), picaridin, IR3535, and lemon eucalyptus pol or paramenthane
  • Place a mosquito net over playpens and prams
  • Remove objects around your house that collect water
  • Clean and change water in birdbaths at least once a week

The DEM also recommends that horse owners have their animals vaccinated as early in the season as possible. Owners must:

  • Remove or cover areas where standing water can accumulate
  • Avoid putting animals outside at sunrise, sunset and at night
  • Insect-proof facilities where possible
  • Frequently use approved repellents
  • Monitor animals for symptoms of fever or neurological signs

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