At this point it’s not a surprise: another illness transmitted by pests has emerged. The Keystone Virus is spread by mosquito bite, and the first human case of Florida suggests that there’s about to be more.
The Keystone virus is likely related to Zika, putting it in a grouping of other tropical mosquito-borne viruses like Dengue, Yellow Fever, and Chikungunya.
Unlike the other viruses in that group, the Keystone Virus isn’t a recent import. It was discovered in and named for Keystone, Florida, in the 60s—but until now, has only been found in animals.
Here’s the good news: as far as we know, Keystone Virus has much tamer symptoms than its tropical mosquito-virus counterparts. In fact, Keystone Virus may already be widespread in Florida, but had been so far undiagnosed because of the mild symptoms! While it can cause brain inflammation (encephalitis) in animals, the first diagnosed human (a teenage boy) has only suffered from a fever and a rash. That’s great compared to Zika which causes parents to pass microcephaly to their future offspring, or the other viruses all of which cause a range of pain that lasts for days.
Now that we know to look for Keystone Virus in humans, we can further explore symptoms, as well as long-term consequences. Tropical viruses like Dengue, Yellow Fever, Chik-V, and Zika give you life-long immunity, but severely complicate your reaction if you catch more than one (someone with a history of Yellow Fever could die if they catch Dengue, for example). Will Keystone Virus, as another relative, have the same effect?
For now, make sure you’re using bug spray this summer, especially if you travel somewhere warm and humid. And for another layer of protection, make sure to support your immune system with Colloidal Silver.
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