What is West Nile Virus?

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  • #615975

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant
    #1147902

    Health
    Participant

    JT -“Is it deadly?”

    It could be!

    #1147904

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Can somebody please tell me more about it?

    #1147906

    goofus
    Participant

    West Nile Virus is part of a family of viruses known as Flaviviruses, along with other known viruses such as Hepatits C, St Louis Virus and Yellow fever.

    West Nile virus is transmitted by several species of mosquitoes. Most humans infected will only have minor, if any, symptoms.

    More serious cases can cause symptoms of headaches, fever, muscle pains (this is not a full list of the symptoms).

    Very rarely does is have extremely serious complications such as meningitis (inflammation of the brain coverings) or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain itself).

    Serious infection is more common in immunocompromised people, like people with HIV or people on some sort of immunosuppressive therapy for a chronic disease, like cancer or Crohn’s disease. People with high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes are also at higher risk.

    There is no vaccine against this infection. The best way to protect yourself is to wear insect repellant on days spent outdoors.

    #1147907

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Thanks goofus.

    Is there antibiotics against it?

    #1147908

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Antibiotics don’t work for viruses.

    #1147909

    goofus
    Participant

    Rebyidd23 is correct. “Antibiotics” within the medical community typically mean antibacterials.

    Antibacterials work against bacteria.

    Antibiotics can also refer to antifungal or anti-mycobacterial (TB), but these are usually furthered specified as such.

    Viruses are only preventable, through use of well tested and researched vaccines. Anything that your physician would give you (in the US and Canada) is a well researched and tested vaccine.

    #1147910

    goofus
    Participant

    Some vaccines are preventative bacterial infections, such as diphtheria, pertussis, and hemophilus influenza.

    #1147911

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    What other diseases do mosquitoes carry in the state of New York? What about across America?

    And how do doctors get rid of a virus, with Hashem’s help? Is there anything they can do, besides the wonderful immune system Hashem gave us?

    #1147912

    goofus
    Participant

    The other viruses within the family of Flavivirus are considered ARBO-viruses, meaning they are ARthropod BOrne, transmitted by mosquitoes and other insects. Malaria, not a virus but a parasite, is also transmitted by insects. Not too many are common in the NY area, though.

    There is antiviral therapy available, but their use is mainly for serious life-threatening viruses, like HIV or HepB. These drugs interfere with the virus’ mechanism of infection, whether it be through blocking reverse transcription (building DNA from RNA precursors) or inhibiting protease action.

    Even our wonderful immune system cannot thwart off viral infection.

    #1147913

    Health
    Participant

    JT – ” Is there anything they can do, besides the wonderful immune system Hashem gave us? “

    There is some literature with WNV and interferons, but it’s Not a cure.

    Like the saying goes – “An once of prevention, is worth a pound of cure!”

    #1147914

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    goofus, wouldn’t eventually the white blood cells take out the virus?

    #1147915

    goofus
    Participant

    Some white blood cells, specifically natural-killer cells, can target virally infected cells that have a major histocompatability complex displaying an epitope that the body deems to be non-self. An epitope is a small portion of protein that can be thought of as a cell’s ID card that shows what sort of stuff is being made inside that cell. Viruses inside the infected cell make proteins, which are cut up and displayed by the MHC-1 (which are found on all nucleated cells in the body). The NK cells recognized the viral epitope as foreign and secrete the cytokines necessary for that cell to undergo lysing.

    Theoretically, if only a few cells were infected by the virus the immune system could clean it up by killing all those infected cells (This happens on a regular basis. Some cells are infected and killed by the immune system. Such a case would likely be considered subclinical, with no symptoms/evidence of being sick). However, someone that has fallen ill and has symptoms due to a virus likely has more that just a few cells infected, and would make it nearly impossible to eradicate all the virally infected cells.

    #1147916

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant

    Is West Nile Virus only transmitted through mosquitoes, or can human interaction (sneezing, coughing) transmit the virus r”l?

    By the way, goofus and Health, are you doctors?

    #1147917

    goofus
    Participant

    Pretty much only through mosquitoes, but also possible, though unlikely due to screening, through organ transplant (including blood transfusions).

    #1147920

    Jewish Thinker
    Participant
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