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West Nile And The Mosquito Essay

1391 words - 6 pages

The Wes Nile virus has stuck fear in the hearts of many Americans over the past few years. Part of the reason for this is because the virus was not introduced to the United States until 1999. The Wes Nile virus is a flavivirus which is closely related to St. Louis encephalitis. The virus can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and various other mammals. The Wes Nile Virus is tied almost directly to my major because its main way of transmission is by mosquitoes which are pests. My major is Integrated Pest Management, there are hundreds of IPM agents around the country that have gone through great lengths of effort to try and educate citizens about how to protect themselves and help control the mosquito population, as well as being involved in several different methods of controlling the pests in their local communities such as trapping and eliminating the pests.Where the Wes Nile virus came fromAlthough outbreaks around the world were not uncommon the appearance of the Wes Nile Virus did not occur in the United States until 1999 in New York City. This occurrence marked the first major manifestation in the continental U.S.. Now the virus is found in virtually every state. Prior to the appearance in the United States the virus was most commonly found in Africa, West Asia and the Middle East. Although it is estimated that the Wes Nile Virus came from the Middle East it is still unclear how it finally arrived in the U.S.. Due to the viral load in humans it is highly unlikely that the virus came here from and international traveler. It is much more likely that the virus came here via a migrating bird or through and adult mosquito transported by a form transcontinental transportation. Unfortunately for us due to the continued expansion of the Wes Nile virus in the United States it indicates that it is permanently established in the Western Hemisphere.How dangerous is the Wes Nile virusIn 2003, alone the illness affected more than 9,800 people in the United States resulting in 264 deaths. However approximately eighty percent of all who are infected with the Wes Nile virus will have an infection without the presence of symptoms. The people will produce an immune response and will probably never know that they were infected. The majority of people that display infection of the Wes Nile virus will experience fever, headache, backache, myalgias and anorexia. This illness which is self-limiting only lasts a week to fourteen days. Other mild symptoms are red rashes and difficulty swallowing which usually effects only half affected patients, impacting both the patients comfort and nutrition. More severe symptoms include Wes Nile encephalitis which is an inflammation of the brain, Wes Nile meningoencephalitis which is inflammation of the brain and the membrane surrounding it and Wes Nile meningitis which is inflammation of the membrane around the brain and the spinal cord.Prevention of the Wes Nile virusThe Wes Nile virus most commonly occurs through the...

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