La Crosse Virus on the Rise in Appalachia

By Laura Marion

A third species of mosquito capable of transmitting the La Crosse encephalitis virus has been discovered in the Appalachian region, according to a report published by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Up to 100 cases of the disease are reported each year in the United States. The disease mainly affects the elderly and children younger than 16. Symptoms usually include nausea and headaches, although life-threatening conditions can also develop.

The number of reports of La Crosse have steadily increased in Appalachia since 2003. The report notes that climate change could result in a future rise in the amount of mosquitoes carrying the La Crosse virus in Appalachia.


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