Note: This article has been moved over from my previous blog for historical purposes
The West Nile Wirus (WNV) [What is West Nile Virus], first isolated from a febrile adult woman in the West Nile District of Uganda in 1937, is the cause of a serious seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in Summer and continues into the fall. Generally spread by Mosquitoes, Transfusions and Transplants. The year saw 4156 reported cases in America alone. The most serious manifestation of WN virus infection is fatal encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in humans and horses, as well as mortality in certain domestic and wild birds. (detailed info)
In one of the first look WNV, researchers at purdue university have recently released a 3 dimensional image that appears as what they call bumpy gum ball. The Purdue team found the virus to be about two millionths of an inch wide (a little over one millionths of a centimetre wide) - small even in the minuscule realm of viruses. Here's how it looks !
Understanding the precise orientation of its proteins - the Purdue team's next goal - could speed the development of drugs to thwart its ability to infect cells in birds, humans, horses and other animals.