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Newport resident hospitalized with mosquito-borne virus

Staff Report
Published: 11/20/2020 10:21:55 PM
Modified: 11/20/2020 10:21:42 PM

NEWPORT, N.H. — A Newport resident has tested positive for Jamestown Canyon virus and has been hospitalized with the mosquito-borne disease, which can cause fatigue and fevers and in rare cases neurologic problems including a brain infection.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services said Friday that the case involved an adult from Newport who was hospitalized with left-side weakness, unresponsiveness and multiple seizures. The person remains hospitalized and their condition has not improved recently, DHHS said in a news release Friday.

Although it is the end of the season when the virus is typically transmitted, DHHS is increasing the “arboviral risk level” for Newport to “high.” Risk levels for the surrounding towns of Cornish, Croydon, Sunapee, Goshen, Unity and Claremont are being increased to “moderate,” the news release said.

The Newport case was the fifth involving someone in New Hampshire this year. Officials said there are no vaccines to prevent the virus, and that treatment consists of rest and monitoring for escalating symptoms.

“Although JCV is still a rare disease, we are seeing more infections in New Hampshire, which is concerning,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Benjamin Chan said in the release.

The release said Jamestown Canyon virus is a “mosquito-borne pathogen that circulates widely in North America primarily between deer and mosquitoes,” and that transmission typically occurs between snowmelt in the spring and a mosquito-killing frost in the fall.

This is the 14th case in New Hampshire since it was first reported here in 2013, DHHS said. Anyone with questions can call the state Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at 603-271-4496.

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