Outbreaks of West Nile virus in the U.S. are becoming an increasing health concern. At least, every time my mother sees a dead crow (a reservoir for the virus)--or any other dead bird , for that matter--she sends us all packing for the indoors. This brief article brings hope to her, as well as all mothers everywhere. Researchers at Acambis have modified the yellow fever vaccine with West Nile surface protein genes in the hopes of creating an effective immunization against this "new" concern.
This article shares some insight into the methodology that goes developing vaccines. The report also got me thinking about some additional issues related to West Nile: If modified yellow fever can act as a vaccine against West Nile, does the yellow fever vaccine alone confer any resistance against West Nile? What does the fact that, now that West Nile has hit home in the US, researchers are mounting a fight against the disease? After all, West Nile has been around since the 1930s in other regions of the world, but we've only developed an equine West Nile vaccine thus far.
Check out the link:
And for a little more background on West Nile and how to protect yourself (after all, knowledge is power):