NewsLocal NewsKent


Kent County health officials find Jamestown Canyon virus in mosquitoes

Posted at 2:51 PM, Aug 06, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Jamestown Canyon virus has been detected in tested mosquitoes in Kent County.

This finding is not a human case, the Kent County Health Department said Friday.

Health officials made the discovery during ongoing surveillance and testing in the 49504 ZIP code.

It’s the first time the Jamestown Canyon virus has been detected in Kent County.

Jamestown Canyon virus is spread to people by infected mosquitoes.

While the virus has been detected throughout much of the U.S., most cases to date have been in the upper Midwest.

Fever, headache and fatigue are common symptoms of the virus, which can in rare cases cause severe disease, including infection of the brain or the lining around the brain.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat Jamestown Canyon virus infection.

The health department says to reduce the risk of infection by avoiding mosquito bites.

“Fortunately, the measures that people can take to protect themselves from other mosquito borne illnesses like West Nile Virus will work,” said Paul Bellamy, public health epidemiologist at the Kent County Health Department. “This time of year, it is good to practice simple and proven steps that we already know work in preventing mosquito bites.”

Kent County health officials recommend the following prevention tactics:

  • Using mosquito repellant that contains 10-35% DEET
  • Wearing light colored clothing and long-sleeved shirts and pants
  • Staying indoors during dusk
  • Remove or refresh water in bird baths, children’s wading pools, pet water bowls
  • Empty other small containers that can collect water in your yard