In the southeastern United States there has been a rise in the incidence of Mosquito Borne Lacrosse Virus which can lead to fatal cases of encephalitis. First identified in Lacrosse, Wisconsin in 1963, the virus is most commonly found in the Atlantic States and Midwest. However, recent occurrences have been found in the southeastern U.S. and most recently led to the death of a 6 year old boy in Tennessee.
Mosquito Borne La Crosse Virus often causes no noticeable symptoms but can lead to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), which can be fatal. Occurrences of the disease tend to be exclusively among children who seem to be more susceptible to infection. Annual cases of La Crosse Virus in the U.S. number only around 80-100, but seem to be rising across many parts of the country.
As La Crosse Virus is transmitted by mosquito, prevention steps include wearing pants and long sleeve shirts and using effective insect repellant
. If infected, potential symptoms of La Crosse Virus include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Efforts to reduce transmission are currently underway and focus on prevention and destruction of mosquito eggs in areas that test positive for the virus.