Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

In Baltimore, lower income neighborhoods have bigger mosquitoes

Low-income urban neighborhoods not only have more mosquitoes, but they are larger-bodied, indicating that they could be more efficient at transmitting diseases. So reports a Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies-led study, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How to stay safe from eastern equine encephalitis

A second human case of Eastern equine encephalitis virus infection this year was confirmed in Massachusetts last week, in a young Grafton man. Meanwhile, the first human case of EEE in the state in six years—a man over ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Protection from mosquitoes key to avoid West Nile virus

August to September is the peak of the West Nile virus (WNV) season and Atlanta area health officials have reported finding mosquitoes testing positive for the pathogen, including from 11 locations across DeKalb County. No ...

Medical research

An 'EpiPen' for spinal cord injuries

An injection of nanoparticles can prevent the body's immune system from overreacting to trauma, potentially preventing some spinal cord injuries from resulting in paralysis.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Does more rain mean more risk of mosquito-borne diseases?

Experts have ranked May 2019 as one of the wettest Mays on record in central Illinois. Is it possible that the incidence of mosquito-borne illnesses increases with the amount of rainfall? To find out, News Bureau science ...

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West Nile virus

West Nile virus (or WNV) is a virus of the family Flaviviridae. Part of the Japanese encephalitis (JE) antigenic complex of viruses, it is found in both tropical and temperate regions. It mainly infects birds, but is known to infect humans, horses, dogs, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, and domestic rabbits. The main route of human infection is through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Image reconstructions and cryoelectron microscopy reveal a 45–50 nm virion covered with a relatively smooth protein surface. This structure is similar to the dengue fever virus; both belong to the genus Flavivirus within the family Flaviviridae. The genetic material of WNV is a positive-sense, single strand of RNA, which is between 11,000 and 12,000 nucleotides long; these genes encode seven non-structural proteins and three structural proteins. The RNA strand is held within a nucleocapsid formed from 12 kDa protein blocks; the capsid is contained within a host-derived membrane altered by two viral glycoproteins.

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