Identifying the infection was no easy task, since there'd previously been no way to test for Keystone virus.
He published a report on the virus on June 9 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.
A teenager in Florida is the first human to be diagnosed with Keystone virus.
The Keystone virus has been identified in a human for the first time. The disease comes from a virus family that's known to cause encephalitis, or brain inflammation. But because of the Zika outbreak happening at the time, researchers were determined to identify the condition to see whether there was reason to be concerned about more new diseases being spread by mosquitoes.
"Although the virus has never previously been found in humans, the infection may actually be fairly common in North Florida", Dr. J. Glenn Morris, director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute, said in the statement. But it took a year and a half of laboratory work to determine that Keystone virus was present. Since then this virus has been detected in the animals along the coastal areas spread across Texas and the Chesapeake Bay. There was no sign of encephalitis or a brain infection. To prevent mosquito bites, try to cover-up with clothing, use repellent and get rid of standing water. Despite the lack of evidence that Keystone causes more severe viral symptoms (such as high fever, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal distress), the readiness with which this strain infected the neural cells led the authors to worry that it could possibly cause encephalitis as well. But that didn't happen to they boy in the case report.
"While we can not say definitely that the virus was responsible for the rash and reported fever, our data are clearly suggestive, and raise the possibility that a proportion of what are otherwise unremarkable "rash and fever" cases seen in primary care settings in coastal areas of the southeastern United States actually reflect KEYV infections".
"All sorts of viruses are being transmitted by mosquitoes, yet we don't fully understand the rate of disease transmission", Morris said.
Plus, they wrote, this finding underscores the fact that there are all kinds of diseases circulating out there that could one day infect humans.