Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Dec 21st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

West Nile Discoveries

mosquito1SLUG REPORT > UC Santa Cruz professor publishes West Nile findings

West Nile Virus came to the United States in 1999, originally appearing in New York and quickly spreading throughout North, South, and Central America. The reason for the  quick spread of the disease has been attributed to the fact that the virus harbors itself in mosquitoes and birds, two species that humans have a surprising amount of contact with. In many cases, the increase of deaths in the local bird population is a large indicator of West Nile within a community.

A. Marm Kilpatrick, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, recently published a paper in the Oct. 21 issue of Science Magazine that delves deeper into just how and where West Nile transmits itself.

“The most important conclusion from the Science paper is that West Nile virus is emblematic of the consequences of combining globalization of trade and travel with human altered habitats,” Kilpatrick writes in an email to Good Times. “There is pretty solid evidence that West Nile virus was introduced into North America through human trade or travel (perhaps an infected mosquito on an airplane).”

Kilpatrick obtained his bachelors degree at UC Los Angeles, but states that his interest in disease ecology came during his PhD studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“I got interested in wildlife diseases (and those that infect people and animals) because it is an area where we really haven't invested that much research effort,” writes Kilpatrick. “As a result, there are some really big questions that still need answering, and thus I feel like I can make real meaningful contributions.”

Kilpatrick joined UCSC in 2008, and currently is doing research on a variety of diseases from Lyme disease to avian influenza.

“I was excited to join the department because of the quality of the faculty and students here, and the range of topics that the faculty works on. Plus, it's a beautiful place to live and work.”

When asked about ways in which West Nile Virus can be prevented, Kilpatrick says that in humans, prevention is “relatively straight-forward.” Simply make sure to wear bug repellent, long sleeves, and long pants during the peak of the West Nile Virus season, which is considered to span from July to September. However, Kilpatrick states that on a larger scale, citizens can begin prevention in their own backyards.

“There are things we can each do to decrease the larval habitat for mosquitoes—getting rid of tires, and buckets and other things that hold water (cleaning out your gutters),” he says. “This can make a difference if a whole community takes part. However, it's also useful to think about how the way we use land and landscape our property influences the birds and their abundance around us.”

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by sunshine johnson, October 23, 2011
Recently a friend's Brother-in-Law received a double lung transplant. The donors kidneys and liver went to three other recipients. All went well the lungs were showing no sign of rejection and we all thought it would end well. Then the man started having a fever and feeling sick. When he went to his Dr. they ran some tests that indicated the donor had been infected with West Nile Disease. The young man died this week and the other recipients are all critical and not expected to live.
Isn't there some sort of testing that can be done, BEFORE placing organs into people, that could find this sort of infection??

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire