Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Home Up Feedback Contents Search

General FAQ
General FAQ Mosquitos Virus & People Virus & Birds

 

 

 

General FAQ

  1. Can infected mammals be carriers for the West Nile virus and transmit the virus to humans?
  2. How can a horse get the West Nile virus?
  3. Do birds infected with the West Nile virus die or become ill?
  4. What about ticks?
  5. Can a person contract the West Nile virus by eating infected game birds?
  6. Where did the West Nile virus originate?
  7. Is it contagious? Can I get the West Nile virus from someone else?
  8. What areas are higher risk areas?
  9. What is the rate of infection? Survival rate?

Can infected mammals be carriers for the West Nile virus and transmit the virus to humans?

West Nile virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes.  At this time, there is no documented evidence of animal-to-animal or animal-to-person transmission of the West Nile virus.  Bird-to-bird transmission has been reported in laboratory studies; however, the significance of this under natural conditions in unknown.

Back to Top

How can a horse get the West Nile virus?

Horses become infected with the West Nile virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito.  There is no evidence that horses can transmit West Nile virus to other horses, birds, or people.

Back to Top

Do birds infected with the West Nile virus die or become ill?

Large numbers of North American Crows and other birds have dies of West Nile virus infection.

Back to Top

What about ticks?

Some ticks in Europe and Asia have been found to be infected with the virus.  Therefore, infected ticks could prove to be a carrier and transmitter of the virus in the future.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also tested ticks in the 1999 outbreak are, but none were infected.

Back to Top

Can a person contract the West Nile virus by eating infected game birds?

Proper cooking kills the West Nile virus.  Consequently, there is no danger associated with eating well-cooked wild game that might be infected.  Remember this the next time you are roasting a crow or a blue jay for dinner!

Back to Top

Where did the West Nile virus originate?

The West Nile virus was first isolated in Uganda, Africa in 1937 (thus the name West Nile-- after the Nile river).  Since then it has spread through West Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.  It made its first appearance in the Western Hemisphere in the New York City area in a 1999 outbreak.

Back to Top

Is it contagious? Can I get the West Nile virus from someone else?

No, the West Nile virus is not contagious.  The main transmission of the virus is through infected female mosquitoes.

Back to Top

What areas are higher risk areas?

As of this date, this question is unclear.  The cases in the U.S. show that there is a much more abundant volume of cases around the Midwest and Great Lakes region, but only time will tell where the virus will become abundant next year.

Back to Top

What is the rate of infection? Survival rate?

Even in areas where mosquitoes are more likely to be carrying the virus, it's very unlikely that a person will become sick from a mosquito bite.  Only about 1% of the mosquitoes in a region affected by the West Nile virus are actually infected with the virus.  And less than 1% of the people who do become infected with the West Nile virus become severely ill.

In other words:

bulletLess than 1% of those infected with the West Nile virus will develop severe symptoms
bulletOf this 1% group of severe symptom patients 3 to 15% will die.

So, in many ways it is very rare to die from this virus.

Back to Top

Send mail to ChrisJWallace@aol.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Prepared for BIOG 154 Microscopic World -- Dr. Harry Kestler
Lorain County Community College -- Last modified: 04/18/03 -- Don't click here.