Hey, Hyde Park: West Nile Virus is in you

The year's second pool of infested mosquitoes was found earlier this week in Hyde Park, joining an equally WNV-laden pool in Jamaica Plain, the Boston Public Health Commission says.

West Nile Virus is generally considered a mild problem, causing flu-like symptoms, at least among people with healthy immune systems, but the commission says now would be a good time to slather up with DEET for those walks in the woods, and to make sure all those tires in your backyard aren't full of the stagnant water mosquitoes just love to breed in, after sucking out some of your blood with their sharp-tipped proboscises.

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    I'm being redundant, but ...

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    While widely considered a mild infection for most immunocompetant individuals, growing evidence (http://www.nature.com/news/the-hidden-threat-of-we...) suggests latent and perhaps even subclinical West Nile virus infection is correlated with kidney disease later in life (the kind that leads to needing a kidney transplant). Since there is currently no vaccine, and since the federal government in it 'wisdom' included reductions to NIH funding (including to labs working on this subject) in this year's sequester, try not to get bit.

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    ticks & what they transmit

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    People are far more likely - yes, even in the city - to contract lyme and other diseases ticks carry. Every year we hear about infected mosquitoes but hear so very little about infected human beings & their struggles with the effects of lyme et al. Of course, I realize tourism and property values take precedence over human health.

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    Coincidence, nah ...

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    It's a shame that NIH-funded labs working on vaccines to Lyme's disease also seen shrinking grants thanks to the sequester. Vaccines are low-cost health care that improve quality of life and reduce the need for expensive medical intervention. Of course, a little uproar about air traffic controllers and that money reappeared ...