Joy (cithra) wrote,

mourning the inevitable

West Nile Virus detected in King County.

Three dead crows from Magnolia/Broadview and Kent tested positive. I'm the most concerned about the crows, actually. For humans it's really a pretty low-risk disease, as only a few who are infected become symptomatic, and only 1 in 150 develop the severe reaction that makes the headlines. Also humans can take precautionary measures.

Crows are especially susceptible, though - functioning in this case like the old coal-mine canaries as a warning that danger has arrived. An old WNV page at the Audubon Society has information current as of June 2005, with links to descriptions of mortality rates as high as 1 in 40 (their emphasis), and 100% mortality within a week was observed in one study.

A further study from the Red River Valley provides a little hope, in that crows were observed there who had survived to serioconversion status: "Previous laboratory and field studies have indicated that most American crows die so quickly from WNV infection that they never have time to seroconvert." Still dying, but dying more slowly - small hope but better than none.

Apparently horses are quite susceptible as well, though there seems to be a vaccine available.

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