Re: West Nile Virus & mosquitoes
Posted by No Expert - but some knowledge on mosquitoes on August 16, 2002 at 10:09:10:
In Reply to: Re: West Nile Virus & mosquitoes posted by Arkose on August 16, 2002 at 00:55:41:
I must agree with Goody2shz – I beg to differ.
The mere fact is, Death Valley does have mosquitoes. I have found them near Warm Springs, Indian Springs, Saratogo Springs, Saline Valley Hot Springs, Scotty’s Castle, Furnace Creek, Darwin Falls, Middle Park, Wildrose Canyon, and numerous other places in and around Death Valley.
Late Spring and early Fall, anyone venturing to Badwater in the evening will come under attack by mosquitoes.
In fact, Death Valley is home to one type of mosquito that can not be found any where else in the world. Granted, this mosquito does not have the equipment necessary to “suck” blood from a human therefore can not transmit diseases.
However, there are three species in the Death Valley region that are virus carriers. The Western Malaria Mosquitoes (Anopheles freeborni) and the most common in Death Valley, the Western Encephalitis Mosquito (Culex tarsalis), and the Common House Mosquitoes (Culex pipiens and Culex quinquefasciatus).
Now for the West Nile Virus.
The media has blown this way out of proportion. The human American citizen averages 2.5 bites a year from the mosquito. Of this, 1 out of 1.2 million bites is fatal. Now with regard to the West Nile Virus, if you are a healthy individual, with an average immune system, your body defense mechanisms will thwart this virus from doing any harm.
“The U.S. Center for Disease Control says that in regions where the virus is present, fewer than one percent of mosquitoes carry it; and fewer than one per cent of people bitten by an infected mosquito will develop serious symptoms of the disease. Many people show no symptoms. A study in Egypt reported that 50 per cent of the people exposed to the virus developed antibodies but showed no symptoms. However, other people, especially the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, can become very ill.”