First Confirmed Human Case of Keystone Virus Found in Florida

A mosquito-borne virus previously found only in animal populations has been discovered in a human for the first time, researchers at the University of Florida report. A 16-year-old Florida boy first reported symptoms last summer, though a series of tests to explain his fever and severe rash failed to determine the culprit. More than a year later, scientists have confirmed the boy was infected with the Keystone virus, which is spread by a common Florida mosquito but until now was limited to certain animal populations. “We couldn’t identify what was going on,” Glenn Morris, director of the University of Florida’s Emerging Pathogens Institute, told WUSF News. “We screened this with all the standard approaches and it literally took a year and a half of sort of dogged laboratory work to figure out what this virus was,” he said. The discovery suggests many other people in the area may have been infected with the virus, Morris told Tampa’s Fox 13. “There is a reasonable chance that there is a number of cases out there.”