Madison County Health Department announced today a mosquito pool tested positive for the Jamestown Canyon Virus. The virus was detected in a mosquito species known to bite humans. The mosquito pool was trapped in Sullivan in the Black Creek area. Although not common in the state, this virus had been found in mosquito pools in previous years in Madison County and other counties in New York. There was a case of human infection in Madison County in 2013.

This virus finding is a result of Madison County Health Department’s mosquito surveillance program. The department’s program collects and tests mosquitoes for diseases. 

The Jamestown Canyon virus spreads to people from the bite of an infected mosquito. Many people infected with this virus do not have symptoms. For people with symptoms, the time from a mosquito bite to feeling sick may vary from a few days to two weeks. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, and headache. Some people also have respiratory symptoms such as cough, sore throat, or runny nose.

In rare cases, the virus may also cause severe disease, developing an infection of the brain (encephalitis) or the membranes around the brain and spinal cord (meningitis); deaths associated with Jamestown Canyon virus infection are also rare.

Take steps to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Dress to repel. Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks when outdoors for a long period of time.
  • Avoid mosquitoes. Prevent mosquito bites by limiting outdoor activities between dusk and dawn. This is the time when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Mosquito-proof your home. Remove or drain standing water around your home. Eliminate conditions that allow mosquitoes to breed and multiply. Take these steps to reduce mosquitoes in your yard:
    • Throw away or turn over outdoor containers, pots, wheelbarrows or other items that hold water
    • Place watertight lids on refuse containers. Drill drain holes in recycling containers kept outdoors
    • Remove all tires from property
    • Change water in bird baths frequently. Recirculate water in small ponds and ornamental features or apply a mosquito larvacide product appropriate for such use.
    • Clean and maintain rain gutters
    • Drain wading pools when not in use and water from pool covers. Maintain and keep clean chlorinated swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs.
    • Use landscaping to eliminate low areas where standing water accumulates. Keep lawns mowed and clear vegetation from edges of ponds.

Learn more about mosquito-related disease and what you can do at home by calling the Madison County Health Department at 315.366.2361 or visiting healthymadisoncounty.org and cdc.gov/jamestown-canyon/index.html.

By martha

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