New York mosquitoes infected with dangerous virus

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Authorities warn of the infection with the West Nile virus

In the New York district "Staten Island" mosquitoes with the West Nile virus were discovered. The health authority warned the population of a possible infection with the virus, which originally comes from Uganda and, in the worst case, can cause victims to fall into a coma.

West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes As the New York health authority announced on Tuesday, no people have yet been infected. Nevertheless, the population should be vigilant, apply bug spray and cover arms and legs with clothing, especially at dusk. This is especially true for people over 50.

The infection is usually harmless. Often those affected have no or only very weak symptoms. In some cases, however, flu-like symptoms occur, which are referred to as the so-called West Nile fever. The patients then suffer from body aches, chills, headaches, nausea and fever, which is why a context is usually discovered very late. Because the virus is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, it can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, or meningitis, an inflammation of the meninges. Affected people can fall into a coma and die from the infection. Birds are primarily affected by the virus. However, mosquitoes as carriers transmit the pathogen into the human organism. The West Nile Virus was first discovered in Uganda in 1937.

Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology in Leipzig already succeeded in developing a vaccine against the West Nile Virus in 2008. The human organism is said to form antibodies by injecting small DNA molecules of the pathogen that contain genetic information for antigens. Despite successful tests, the vaccine is not yet on the market. (ag)

Read on:
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Europe: West Nile fever is spreading
Dangerous tropical fever from bush mosquitoes
Climate change: dengue fever reaches Europe
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Video: Man infected with mosquito-, tick-borne viruses


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