Santa Cruz Good Times

Saturday
Jul 04th
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

 

The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 3

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food