West Nile Virus

Essay by arusunatalle138High School, 11th gradeA+, March 2004

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The West Nile virus itself is thought to have originated in the West Nile district of Uganda. From Uganda it began to spread using its main carrier the Birds. It spread to Egypt, France and in 1999 it made very startling appearance in New York. The way the virus travels is mostly by infected mosquitoes. The mosquito will bite an animal and take some of its blood, as this is occurring the virus enters the blood stream and the animal becomes infected. The way that it traveled is that an infected bird would fly to a new location ad then be bitten by another mosquito, which then would become a carrier. Most people that become infected with the virus have very mild symptoms and are not really effected. However in certain rare cases people may get a polio-like disease which may cause paralyzation or even death.

Although the most common way that the West Nile virus is transferred is from mosquito bites there are a few other ways that it can be transmitted.

The Virus can be transmitted through Blood transfusion. Between August 2002 and January 2003 there were 20 confirmed cases of West Nile through blood transfusion. Another very rare way that the virus is transferred is through organ transplants In 2002, four people got west Nile virus from a single donor. West Nile can also be transferred through pregnancy and breast feeding. It is also possible to get the West Nile through occupational exposure as a way of transmission. In 2002 lab workers obtained the virus after skin piercing with virus-contaminated tools. Although there are many ways of transmission 4 out of 5 people with West Nile don't get sick. Only one fifth of people get a fever and one out of a hundred people get a serious...