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NH reports another case of rare mosquito-borne virus

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 5:17 PM EST
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NEWPORT, N.H. (WCAX) - COVID-19 is not the only virus that health officials in New Hampshire are sounding the alarm about. That includes a rare one that is transmitted by mosquitoes.

As if people in our region needed another virus to be worried about. But that’s exactly the case in New Hampshire. Health officials are putting out a warning about a virus that is not COVID-19. Like West Nile or eastern equine encephalitis, the Jamestown Canyon virus is transmitted through mosquitoes. Recently, a patient from Newport, New Hampshire, tested positive. It’s the state’s fifth case this year.

“I just know it’s another virus. It’s rare,” said Newport resident Rodney Petrin.

Symptoms of Jamestown Canyon include fever, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue. However, more serious cases could cause nervous system diseases like meningitis or encephalitis.

“In the grand scheme of things, it seems rather minimal when you are dealing with something so worldwide like COVID,” Petrin said.

Health officials say cases of the Jamestown Canyon virus have been increasing over the last several years as recognition and testing increases. While Vermont has had zero reported cases to date, New Hampshire has tallied 14 cases over the last seven years.

“Yeah, it makes me concerned, it does make me concerned,” said Jeff Churchill of Newport.

Cases of Jamestown Canyon have been reported from May to November. But right now, the people I spoke are mostly focused on the coronavirus.

“I pretty much stay home. I go to work every day. I get home and I stay home with my girlfriend and my granddaughter,” Churchill said.

Anyone with questions or concerns about the virus is asked to contact the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

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