Florida patient is first known human to be infected with Keystone virus

Researchers from the University of Florida in Gainesville confirmed the first known case of a human infected with Keystone virus — a mosquito-borne infection that may be common in North Florida, NPR reports.

Five things to know:

1. A 16-year-old in North Central Florida went to an urgent care clinic after he had a fever and a severe rash in August 2016, during the Zika outbreak that spread through Florida and the Caribbean.

2. Physicians tested the teenager for Zika and other pathogens, but could not determine what caused his illness. The researchers published their findings on the case in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

3. Researchers first found the virus in the U.S. in 1964, when they isolated it from mosquitoes in Keystone, Fla. The virus has since "been found in animal populations along coastal regions stretching from Texas to the Chesapeake Bay," according to a statement from University of Florida Health.

4. Until now, there has been no way to test humans for the Keystone virus, which is carried by the Aedes atlanticus mosquito, a cousin to Aedes aegypti, which spreads Zika.

The virus can cause a rash and mild fever in humans. Although the Florida teenager did not show signs of inflammation of the brain, Keystone is part of a group of viruses "known to cause encephalitis in several species, including humans," said lead study author John Lednicky, PhD.

5. Corresponding report author Glenn Morris, MD, director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, said he suspects many people may have the Keystone virus.

"Although the virus has never previously been found in humans, the infection may actually be fairly common in North Florida," Dr. Morris said. "It's one of these instances where if you don't know to look for something, you don't find it."

More articles on clinical leadership and infection control: 
First West Nile cases confirmed in 2018
Texas Natural Meats recalling 500 pounds of beef due to E. coli
Potential Legionella outbreak probed at Hawaii hospital

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