West Nile Virus Mosquito Bite

In recent years, the media and government have focused more and more on both infection control, and informing people of dangerous diseases that are floating around.

One such disease, is West Nile virus, a deadly and rare disease that is usually picked up from mosquito bites. As almost everyone that lives in a climate that supports mosquitoes has been bitten by one, it is a disease that should be worried about.

Mosquito to human transmission and West Nile outbreaks are frequently covered in the media, however what the media does not tell one is how mosquitoes end up with the West Nile virus in the first place.

The first creatures to actually acquire West Nile virus, are birds, crows especially. Though these birds are infected, and some do die from the disease, they mainly act as carriers of the virus, as do most other animals that are infected with West Nile.

This means that the bird shows no signs or complications of the disease, but can still spread it if another creature comes into contact with the disease.

The mosquito however, does make the foolish mistake of sucking the birds blood, and by proxy, also sucking the virus into their systems.

Interestingly enough, these mosquitoes that are now infected with West Nile, then go out and attack more unsuspecting birds, causing them to also become carriers of the virus.

These new carriers of the West Nile virus are then attacked by uninfected mosquitoes, which causes these mosquitoes to also cause the virus to rampage throughout their systems.

A vicious cycle of multiplication and spreading of the virus ensues, infecting a possibly endless amount of both birds and mosquitoes.

Through this cycle, large populations of both birds and mosquitoes can quickly become carriers of the West Nile virus.

When a large enough population of mosquitoes becomes infected, the mosquitoes then start to infect other ground animals, who in turn also become carriers of the dangerous virus.

Inevitably, more mosquitoes that were previously uninfected, become carriers of West Nile, and the cycle repeats itself.

Luckily, though large populations can become quickly infected by the virus, it is both extremely hard for mosquitoes to actually transmit the virus to the human population, and when they manage to do so, human bodies are usually able to fight off the virus quickly without any lasting damage.

For the few that can’t though, West Nile is extremely debilitating disease, fortunately with a fairly low mortality rate.

Sources:
West Nile Information