Wednesday, June 21, 2006

THE EVER EVOLVING DISEASE


Imagine a virus that is able to infect birds, mosquitoes, horses and humans. OMG, this disease already exists; it’s the West Nile Virus. This virus infects mosquitoes, which can transfer it to humans, birds, horses and other animals. The incident rate of the West Nile Virus is increasing with each passing year in almost every state. This map is a geographic distribution of West Nile virus in the United States, 1999 to 2002. To view the West Nile Virus state case and fatality count in the United States for 2005, click on West Nile Virus Activity for 2005.


Thankfully, there is no evidence that infected horses, people, or other animals are able to transmit the virus to other animals, people, or mosquitoes through normal contact. Although, research has shown that it is possible for bird to bird transmission to occur as a result of contamination of food or water from secretions.

To answer the question that Tucopup posed in my last post of the WNV “Did we nip the epidemic in the bud or was it just hype?

Well I pose another question for you. How can we nip an epidemic in the bud when we have no cure or control over migratory birds or mosquitoes that are able to spread this virus? This issue is not just a hype to scare the public. This threat is real and the warm weather is promoting significant viral amplification and a time when mosquitoes love biting and have more opportunity. We need to take control by reducing this mosquito population in our homes so that the outbreak of 1999 in New York City is not repeated. Click for full article, The Outbreak of West Nile Virus Infection in the New York City Area in 1999.

4 Comments:

At 2:46 PM, Blogger Tucopup said...

I guess I am as guilty as you; answering a question with a question.

There was a huge education campaign. Melathione was dumped everywhere in an effort to control the vector to humans.

This all seemed to work...or did it just fizzle out? (there's that dangling question, again).

Matt

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Julie Petrie said...

I think it fizzled. I recently received a message from the Department of Health - Bae you must have seen it, right? - the message was stating where and when thay are dropping more pesticide in the 5 boroughs to help kill mosquitos and prevent the very real danger of West Nile Virus.

 
At 4:03 PM, Blogger steffie said...

Awesome moving bug!!! West Nile stuff is really interesting. I just wonder if all the hype is necessary...

 
At 6:58 AM, Blogger Baconboy said...

From what I understood, the West Nile Virus has only been lethal to the elderly or those who have weakened immune systems. I believe that the "normal" people have been able to receive treatments and came out ok.

 

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