Mosquitoes and disease

The West Nile Virus represents a public health hazard in the United States.  The virus  is transmitted by a mosquito bite, but it has been demonstrated that it can also be passed on by body fluids, such as breast milk while breast feeding and blood (Blood Transfusions).  We recently discussed arthropods in the classroom and previously we discussed viruses.  Access the article and share your knowledge with us. More importantly, focus on the public health issues and why the federal government has a special agency dedicated to monitor the rate of infection (Center for Disease Control (CDC)). Is it endemic for the US?

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11 Responses to Mosquitoes and disease

  1. Tiffany Onate says:

    personally, i believe that the issue is still serious with involving the mosquitoes. i think its crazy that the west Nile virus outbreak has gotten worse , i would have assume it has gotten better due to the spraying and also i think its scary that it can be transferred through breast feeding and other ways. maybe there should be more of a involved study so we can learn h=more about the virus seeing the symptoms aren’t as obvious and portraying as just someone being sick.i really dont think seeing winter is only around the corner that someone will be walking out side without a shirt and what not but its good to know that until the first frost we are at risk, we just need to be careful and plan accordingly

  2. donna myriel says:

    From what we have learnt so far in class about viruses, i know that it’s possible for a virus to stay alive as long as it has a host where it can create more of it’s own by genetically modifying the hosts’ DNA or RNA. The mosquito is like an unsanitary needle so it is predictable for it to spread the West Nile virus just as one can get HIV from being injected by a needle that was contaminated by a HIV patient. It is quite alarming that the west nile virus has spread so quickly through out different states and how much people are being affected by this. After reading this article and reading further information from the CDC’s official website, i was shocked to learn that it could be passed on through breast milk and and even through transplants. I also found another website which gave further information and graphical estimates and effects it has had on people over the years:, on this website the west Nile virus is described as a “human neuropathogen”, because this website further explains that people who are infected by this virus can also get minigitis and encephalitis. I think it’s very important that the CDC is keeping track of this virus and any other infections that could be harmful to the human population. Their work can help us know what to expect when there is an outbreak of a harmful viruses or infections and also help them find vaccines that could decrease the rate of infections throughout the country and prevent the widespread of infections such as the west nile virus from further taking place. I think the west nile virus is more of a epidemic rather than an endemic because it didnt originate from the US . it was detected around 1999 as explained in the article you gave us above and an endemic means belonging exclusively to a particular place and the west nile virus originated from Africa in Uganda around 1937, so i would say it is endemic to Africa rather than the US .

  3. Valerie J says:

    The West Nile virus though endemic for the U.S,the chances of someone actually becoming sick with the virus is relatively low. If this virus can indeed be passed through body fluids such as breast milk, there would be a larger percentage of women against breast feeding, which is not the case. I myself have been bitten by mosquitoes many times and I’m perfectly fine. We should have a more distinct study focusing on the prime areas in which this virus has been in effect because it seems that the West Nile virus is only reoccurring in those areas where it has already pre-existed. Also, as the article states this is still “an emerging disease that we don’t know a lot about” (Biedrzycki, 2012), so I do think that the federal government having a special agency dedicated to monitor the rate of infection is a good thing, as it helps keeps us informed on ongoing cases.

    As with the viruses we’ve studied in class, I don’t think the West Nile has reached a case of seriousness as exposed by viruses such as HIV or cancer, but again these are not arthropod transmitted viruses. Even so, the arbovirus cases I’ve researched have also been relatively distinct in the areas of outbreak. I think it’s always in our best interest to keep informed, and to take heed to the precautions that has been issued by Public Health.

  4. Well to be fair this article never points to places that are close to us, like just some places that are higher than Texas. The reason being is being of course there are going to be more outbreaks down there because that is a wetter & hot area, which are ideal breeding conditions for any kind of mosquito. I do think this matter is quite serious though, due to the fact that the West Nile Virus takes such a long time to appear in some victims, and most of the time, it shows no symptoms what so ever! Now to focus on the Center for Disease Control, I think it is EXTREMELY vital part to us as Americans to have a governmental group such as the CDC, just for the simple fact that we have such a dense population, and we encounter a lot of things. Now to say that the West Nile is going to be an endemic in the United States, I cannot predict the future, but I in fact, do not think it will be, due to the changing of the seasons at this current moment the mosquitos cannot strive as a species to the inclamate weather. Lastly, I just think we have to be more attentive, due to the thing of this disease being able to transfered by blood transfusion, we just have to pay more attention and test more people before giving out their blood that can be affected.

  5. Ayah Abdella says:

    I think that this can become a endemic because a lot of people do not take precautions when it comes to stuff like this because they do not trust what people tell them. But if precautions are taken this can be preventable and won’t become a endemic and will be controlled. Also i never knew that this disease can be transmitted through breast feeding and through blood transfusions. I also didn’t know that this come from the mosquitoes get through feeding on infected birds. Also this disease will spread fast if we were in more of a hotter climate because what was written in the article is that it is mostly found it hotter climates rather than cold climates and we are considered more of a colder climate when we come into winter so that also helps in preventing the virus to spread.if all the precautions be taken into consideration and actually be done a lot will be prevented and it won’t spread around and become a endemic

  6. The West Nile Virus possess a double potency because it is transmitted by an arthropod, and it is a virus. Arthropods are the most numerous of the animal kingdom and viruses have demonstrated that they have unique abilities that enable them to multiply and invade. Those factors are more than enough to cause the federal government to monitor the rate of infection. This virus has the potential to cause major damage, if allowed to operate unchecked. Now I wonder if the virus has mutated because of the different methods it has for transmission. The West Nile Virus is not endemic for the US, however the number of reported cases are on the rise. What is most troubling is how many ways it can infect, especially from mother to child by breast feeding.

  7. huda says:

    The virus is very dangerous because there are many ways it can speard but not many ways to prevent it. Spreading through breast feeding makes breast feeding dangerous for babies. In that case, mothers should stop breast feeding. Also the fact that we have to dress in long clothing is difficult. Summer time is the season where people like to dress in shorts and tank tops. It’s impossible for people to wear long clothing in those temeprature. Also the fact that only those with very good health would not get infected is another fact that would not happen. Most people are not healthy which makes them a target for this virus.
    I found this website interesting and very simple to understand the virus and wanted to share it with the rest.

    I also believe that The West Nile Virus is not endemic for the US due to the fact that it originated in Africa.

  8. cmasih says:

    I agree with what the experts are saying about how the change in climate has caused an outbreak of the West Nile Virus. There is no medicinal way, beforehand that we can combat against such viruses until people have been infected and/or unfortunately die. This article just reinforces the fact that one must be extra viligent in taking precautionary measures to prevent oneself from being bitten in the first place. So I will be wearing my bug repellant and I will be applying it to my children’s skin as well.

  9. To be honest i didnt think nor did i know mosquitos bites dieseases are so high. i also suprise that they were found in the West Nile so long ago and there is still no way to stop them from multipling.

  10. margotlsalas says:

    The West Nile seems like a very contagious disease. I cant believe it can be transmitted through breast feeding. Women who are currently pregnant should avoid visiting tropical environments because a simple symptom such as a headache or fever can be caused by this virus. It will be hard to detect if you ever did come in contact with this virus if you over come the simple symptoms but yet there are no specific symptoms that assure the fact you have been infected with this virus. The current climate also triggers the migration of these mosquitos to rise and spread this virus.

  11. shervon says:

    Mosquitoes seems to be the most common host for spreading deadly viruses to humans.Government health officials need to step up and find ways to eliminate the host of these viruses instead of waiting for the weather to take care of it. What if the temperature doesn’t change anytime soon,also what about places like Texas that doesn’t have winter. It shows great lackadaisical behavior by the Health department for not continuing to study this deadly disease when it had subsided. That should have been the best time to come up with preventive measures,not waiting for the disease to return with a vengeance. I am very disappointed with the way they handled this issue and because of it many who might have been saved have died.

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