Nervous System Home > LaCrosse Encephalitis

LaCrosse encephalitis is a rare disease that is spread by infected mosquitoes. Usually affecting children, this is one of several mosquito-borne viral diseases that can affect the central nervous system and cause severe complications. It is mainly found in the upper midwestern United States and the Appalachian region. The illness is typically mild, with symptoms that include fever, headache, and tiredness.

What Is LaCrosse Encephalitis?

LaCrosse encephalitis is a rare viral disease that is spread by infected mosquitoes. It gets its name from LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where the infection was first recognized in 1963. It usually affects children.
 
LaCrosse encephalitis is one of several diseases that is caused by a mosquito-borne virus. These diseases can affect the central nervous system and cause severe complications. Other similar diseases are eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis.
 
LaCrosse encephalitis is found mainly in the upper midwestern United States and in the Appalachian region.
 
There is no specific treatment for this condition, and prevention involves controlling mosquitoes and avoiding mosquito bites.
 

Understanding the Virus That Causes LaCrosse Encephalitis

LaCrosse encephalitis is caused by the LaCrosse encephalitis virus, an arbovirus. Arbovirus is short for arthropod-borne virus. Arboviruses are a large group of viruses that are spread by certain invertebrate animals (arthropods), most commonly blood-sucking insects. In the United States, arboviruses are spread mainly by infected mosquitoes.
 

Where Is LaCrosse Encephalitis Commonly Found?

LaCrosse encephalitis is most common in the hardwood forest areas of the upper midwestern United States and in the Appalachian region (West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). The most recent cases are from West Virginia.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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