Herpesvirus

West Nile Virus – Gift of Global Warming or result of Human Lethargy?

Healthcare Pharmaceuticals

Lakewood’s Michael Keasling was working as an electrician. He was fascinated with fast cars, big trucks, and also Harley-Davidsons. However, the major glitch in his life was that he was battling diabetes since his teenage. As such, kidney transplantation was mandatory, that too, from his sister, for pulling through.

In August 2021, he had taken ill after an infected mosquito bit him. This infection had resulted in him contracting West Nile virus. He had to spend 3 months in the hospital (s) and later the rehabilitation centres, but he succumbed to West Nile virus and complications resulting out of those on November 11 at merely 57 years of age. His mother – Karen Freeman confirmed his age at the time of death.

What’s with the Experts?

As per experts, summer drought, spring rain did prompt the mosquitoes to spread West Nile virus all through Colorado in the year 2021. It has been recorded that West Nile did result in killing 11 people with neuroinvasive infections reaching around 101 people. Those suffering from ailments like encephalitis or meningitis were more prone to contracting West Nile virus.

Experts further state that with more drought-like conditions awaited in the years to come, the temperature could be pushed towards “Goldilocks zone” for mosquitoes. In other words, it could be neither too cold nor too hot, which would drive the further transmission of West Nile virus.

As per Dr. Gaurab Basu, a health equity fellow and primary care physician at the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard’s public health school, West Nile virus does help in studying the connection between health and climate.

Majority of West Nile infections are reported to be casual. In other words, the virus turns to be neuroinvasive hardly in 1 out of 150 cases, which could result in serious illness leading to swelling in spinal cord or brain, or even cause paralysis or death. This data comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those aged 50 and above are at the higher risk of getting infected herein. Classic example is that of Keasling.

From the US and U.K.

The US, in the last 10 years, has witnessed an average of close to 1,300 neuroinvasive West Nile cases every single year. Dr. Basu encountered the very first case in Massachusetts many years ago in the form of a 71-year-old patient who had cognitive impairment and swelling in brain.

That case was actually a jolt from blue for Mr. Basu, as it made him come to senses regarding the ill-effects of global warming on the living beings. He also thinks that there could be an influx of various other diseases on the planet in the near future as this change in the temperature is irreversible.

A major climate report released by the UN in February 2022 stated that with increase in interaction of humans with wildlife coupled with climatic alterations, various new-fangled disease transmission patterns are bound to be witnessed going forward. In southeastern Europe, alterations in climate have already been.

Being conscious about the probable adversities caused by global warming is the only way to stay away from contracting West Nile Virus and ailments like these.

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