Robins West Nile

October 22, 2011 by staff 

Robins West NileRobins West Nile, Researcher viruses and viral diseases have determined that American robins are “super-spreaders” of West Nile virus, HealthDay reported Thursday.

“Robins are more important in the transmission of its abundance only suggest,” said A. Marm Kilpatrick, a biologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in a press release. “The peculiar feeding habits of vectors play an important role in transmission, and this idea applies to many different diseases.”

Kilpatrick said the mosquitoes, which transmit the virus from birds to humans by biting them; robins prefer to enjoy more than almost any other species. In humans, the virus can cause fever, headache, chills and other symptoms, but in healthy adults usually resolve. However, in some cases, patients may enter coma.

“Now we know that in every place, only one or two mosquito species play an important role, and only a handful of birds seem to be important in the global transmission of viruses,” said Kilpatrick, who reviewed decades of ecological and evolutionary research to get results.

The study of West Nile virus, which has been well established in North America since 1999, may help scientists devise ways to combat other types of viruses and viral diseases.

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