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Rhode Island has 1st human case of rare encephalitis-causing virus since 2013

This article is more than 1 year old.

Rhode Island public health officials on Monday confirmed the state's first human case of the Jamestown Canyon virus since 2013.

The person who tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus is a resident of Kent County in their 50s, the state Department of Health said in a statement. The person started experiencing symptoms in mid-September and was hospitalized. Tests were submitted to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in mid-October and Jamestown Canyon virus was confirmed.

The person has been discharged from the hospital and is recovering, the department said.

People infected with the virus may not develop any symptoms, or only develop mild symptoms, the agency said. Early symptoms can include fever, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue that can progress to more serious central nervous system disease, including meningitis or encephalitis, the agency said.

The Health Department on Monday also confirmed the state's second human case of West Nile virus this year in a resident of Washington County in their 60s. That person did not require hospitalization.

West Nile, also spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, can cause fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash.

"Although we are no longer in mosquito season in Rhode Island, these recently confirmed cases of JCV and WNV are a reminder that a few simple precautions can help you stay healthy and safe when you are outdoors spending quality time with family and friends," department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said in a statement.



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