Request for Question Clarification by
06 Sep 2005 05:14 PDT
Please let me know if the following answers your question:
"Most birds can harbor the West Nile virus with few or no ill effects.
They are infected by a mosquito carrying the virus. The virus
multiplies in their blood stream. The virus hitches a ride on another
mosquito to infect humans, horses or other mammals.
Crows are different. Though otherwise quite hardy, crows seem terribly
susceptible to the virus. Instead of incubating a new population of
the virus, crows die. They die rather swiftly. Since mosquitoes do not
bite dead birds, they cannot carry the disease from crow to humans."
"Meanwhile, residents should throw away any dead birds they find,
being careful to pick them up with rubber or latex gloves, or a
plastic bag. Dead birds left in the open aren't a danger, and won't
perpetuate the infection cycle, she said.
"People cannot get infected from disposing of dead birds,' Middleton
said. "Mosquitoes will not bite dead birds. So once a bird is dead,
it's not a health risk.'"
"Within any given rabbit, viruses that multiplied faster had the
advantage over viruses that multiplied more slowly. In other words, on
the individual level -- in this case, the virus level -- natural
selection favored faster-multiplying (therefore more lethal) viruses.
But when a rabbit died, the viruses inside died with it. (The virus
was spread by mosquito, and mosquitoes do not bite dead rabbits.) Thus
the faster a group of viruses multiplied, the more likely it was that
their rabbit host would die before the virus could be transmitted to
"The presence or absence of mosquito bites, however, is not a
scientifically accepted method of determining place of death. First
and foremost, the length of time between the murders and the discovery
of the bodies, plus the submersion of the bodies in 60 degree water
could have lessened or alleviated reactions to any mosquito bites the
victims suffered just prior to their deaths. Second, mosquitoes swarm
at dusk ? if the boys were killed prior to dusk, the likelihood of
mosquitoes being active is lessened. Third, mosquitoes do not bite
dead bodies. Fourth, the death of the victims soon after they were
bitten would have halted any reaction to the mosquito bite(s)."
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