Friday, October 24, 2014

Birds roosting in larger groups found to have a lower chance of contracting West Nile Virus

The National Science Foundation had given funding to the Chicago area to conduct studies on the West Nile Research. To bring 10 years of research to a close, a group of field biologists, epidemiologists, mosquito specialists, and disease experts at the University of Illinois conducted a field study for three years examining whether mosquitoes were more attracted to roost than non-roost sites. They did this by trapping mosquitoes inside and outside roosts. A lab in Texas checked the number of mosquitoes from these groups that carried the West Nile virus. While the study points out that the birds who roost have a lower chance of contracting West Nile Virus, the study doesn’t explain why those who roost are less likely to get infected or why specific species of birds are more likely to roost. The fact that probability of infection is lower for vector born diseases for large groups occupying the same geographical space contrasts with the fact that probability of infection is higher for contact diseases such as influenza.

 If translated to the human population, the data implies that individuals who are isolated will have a  greater probability of being infected than those in groups. Whether this implication can be made however is unclear.   Either way, this can be a valid justification you can use for why you were socializing with friends and not studying for the Humans and Viruses exam! You are just decreasing your chances of getting West Nile Virus while having a great time:)

To read more, click here:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141023110959.htm
http://news.aces.illinois.edu/news/birds-roosting-large-groups-less-likely-contract-west-nile-virus

Your favorite West Nilophile
-Mariam

1 comment:

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