EQUUS - - Medical Front -



A new study un­der­scores how lo­cal con­di­tions can in­flu­ence the spread of dis­ease.

Re­searchers at Mis­sis­sippi State Univer­sity did an in-depth sta­tis­ti­cal anal­y­sis of West Nile virus (WNV) en­cephalomye­li­tis in­ci­dence across the state in 2002, look­ing specif­i­cally at how rain­fall and land cover---the amount and type of veg­e­ta­tion, wa­ter sources and ar­eas de­vel­oped by hu­mans---cor­re­lated to re­ports of the dis­ease at the county level.

A zoonotic dis­ease first iden­ti­fied in this coun­try in 1999, WNV is now con­sid­ered en­demic to the United States. Car­ried by birds--pri­mar­ily crows and jays--WNV is trans­mit­ted by mos­qui­toes. Most horses ex­posed to the virus don’t be­come ill, but among the small per­cent­age that do 30 per­cent die or are eu­tha­na­tized. Clin­i­cal signs of in­fec­tion in­clude weak­ness and in­co­or­di­na­tion, mus­cle trem­bling and fever.

In an­a­lyz­ing data from the United States Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, the United States Ge­o­log­i­cal Ser­vice

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