The Microorganism of West Nile Virus Essay Sample
West Nile Virus is an infectious disease that came from the family of Flaviviridae (“West Nile Virus”). This virus first appears in West Nile of Uganda in the year 1937. This has been acknowledged as a source of the Saint Louis encephalitis and Japanese encephalitis in the year 1957. Then it appears in the summer of 1999 in United States then from then on, it spread to different states (“West Nile Virus”). West Nile virus is common West Asia, Africa and Middle East (“West Nile Virus”). Researchers believe that this virus can be found in tropical and temperate places like Europe and North America. In North America, studies shows that its sets up in summer up to the fall season. The widespread of West Nile Virus in North America has been a milestone for the evolution of this virus. Studies also shows that West Nile Virus is primary cause of Yellow fever and Dengue (“West Nile Virus”).
There are different symptoms or effects of West Nile Virus on human depending on the severity of the affectation. In the 20% of the total population, the severity of the infection is only mild so the following are common symptoms that can be observed to the person infected by the West Nile virus: (a) pain in the back part of the body; (b) headache; (c) diarrhea; (d) lack of appetite; (e) skin rashes; (f) fever; (g) nausea; (h) inflammation or swollen lymph nodes; (i) vomiting; and (j)muscle pain (“West Nile Virus”).
In some cases, infection cause by the West Nile virus leads to a more complicated and life threatening conditions like (1) meningoencephalitis which is the inflammation of the brains and the surrounding structures; (2) encephalitis which is the inflammation of the brain; (3) West Nile poliomyelitis which is the inflammation of the spinal cord; (4) meningitis which is the swelling and infection of the surrounding structures of the brain and spinal cord; (5) acute flaccid paralysis in which it is a result of West Nile poliomyelitis. In this condition, there is abrupt weakening of breathing muscles, arm and legs (“West Nile Virus”). The symptoms of the above mentioned diseases experienced by the infected person are the following (a) disorientation or confusion; (b) high fever; (c) uncoordinated movement; (d) pain; (e) severe headache; (f) convulsion; (g) stiff neck; (h) tremors; (i) partial weakness or paralysis; (j) manifestations of sign and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease; and (k) stupor (“West Nile Virus”). The following symptoms may last for only six days but for those symptoms mentioned for neurological disease, if last for several weeks may lead to permanent paralysis (“West Nile Virus”).
Transmissions of disease have different ways but transmission of virus is not possible through handling an infected bird unless it is already dead. The most common way of transmission is through mosquito bites. Not all mosquitos’ can be considered as carrier of this virus because not all mosquitoes fed on birds (“West Nile Virus”). There are 3 types of mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus. The Culex pipiens in Eastern United State, Culex restuans in Southeast, and Culex tarsalis in West and midwest (“West Nile Virus”) mosquitoes are those types that feed on birds. The most common birds that are infected are the crow and jays because they are easily infected by different virus (“Niaid Research on West Nile Virus”). When mosquitoes feed blood on infected birds, it will circulate on its bloodstream. After few days, the virus will set in as saliva of the mosquito. Then when the mosquito bites human or other vertebrae, the saliva will enter the bloodstream of human then it will infect the nervous system of the human. There are instances that it may become fatal depending on the host or human (“Niaid Research on West Nile Virus”).
In 2002, there are new identified ways of transmission of virus. First of this method is through blood transfusion in which some of the blood donors does not undergone screening for West Nile virus (“West Nile Virus”). The second one is through tissue or organ transplantation. It is the same as blood transfusion in which the donor does not undergone screening (“Niaid Research on West Nile Virus”). The third one is through transplacental transfer were the mother has no control of passing the virus to the unborn child. The effect on the unborn child is still unknown unless the child has been born (“Niaid Research on West Nile Virus”). Last one is the breast feeding, were the virus can be pass through the milk that the baby obtained from their mother (“West Nile Virus”). But this case is very rare.
Treatment of West Nile Virus
Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent the widespread of West Nile virus (“Niaid Research on West Nile Virus”). The only cure or supportive treatment that can be given to the infected person is IV fluids, pain relievers, machines that can assist infected person for breathing, application of tube in the airway to help the patient breathe and prevention of another complications (“Niaid Research on West Nile Virus”). Aspirin should not be administered because it may worsen the condition of the patient especially the children.
“Niaid Research on West Nile Virus.” Ed. Department of Health and Human Services: National Institutes of Health, 2006.
“West Nile Virus”. 2006. Public Health Agency of Canada. 20 August 2007. <http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/wn-no/gen_e.html>.
“West Nile Virus”. 2007. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. 20 August 2007. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/west-nile-virus/DS00438>.