West Nile Virus Essay

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West Nile Virus

Elizabeth Carter
March 30, 2017
West Nile Virus
One of the most talked about and publicized viruses in the world today is the West Nile Virus. Named for the West Nile district of Uganda, West Nile Virus was first isolated in a woman in the West Nile district of Uganda in 1937 (World Health Organization, 2011). Although well known today, prior to 1999 the West Nile Virus was virtually unheard of in the United States. However, in New York City 1999 that changed when we had our first recognized case. Each summer since then it has progressively spread across the continental US infecting 1000s along the way. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016),
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However, humans are not the only species that can fall victim to this disease. West Nile Virus has a broad host range and can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and some other mammals (Pommerville, 2014). The transmission cycle begins when mosquitoes feed on infected birds. It will then circulate through the mosquitoes’ blood supply and into the salivary glands afterwards the mosquito is capable of infecting others. In addition to mosquitoes, West Nile Virus has also been shown to be spread through blood and organ transfusions or exposure to blood in a laboratory or other …show more content…
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2016). In addition to repellants, it is also important to take the necessary steps to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home. Some ways of accomplishing this is by ensuring that there is no standing water or excessively large puddles around your yard. These stagnant water sources serve as ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. In addition to protecting your yard, make sure to keep them out of your home by ensuring that you have screens installed on all of your windows and doors if you choose to leave them open. Another important prevention step is to monitor the activity of West Nile Virus in your area and then take appropriate action accordingly. Finally, if you see a large number of dead birds report it to the local authorities. Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area (CDC,

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