microbes and stuff

microbes and stuff - Jason Lim Microbe, Plant and Animal...

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Jason Lim Microbe, Plant and Animal Write Up Forensic Biology November 30, 2010
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Viral Encephalitis 1. Viral infection, CDC Category B 2. The virus usually resides in a bird, and when mosquitoes draw blood from the infected birds, they too become infected. At this point, the mosquito's saliva will contain the virus and when it draws blood from a dead-end host such as a human, it will transmit the virus into the human's bloodstream. The virus then multiplies within the bloodstream traveling towards the brain and the spinal cord. 3. The virus is found in various infected animals, including mosquitoes, dogs, birds, and ticks. 4. Those infected with viral encephalitis can experience headaches, fever, nausea, and anorexia. The more severe cases often include vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, and aseptic meningitis. People suffering the most fatal symptoms often experience comas, hyperthermia, and will have long term neural damage if they survive. To confirm if someone has viral encephalitis, doctors check the medical history, perform neurological, urine, and blood tests, brain scans, and a spinal tap. If the doctor figures the specific type of viral encephalitis, treatment can be done, but there are some strains that have no cure. 5. To spread viral encephalitis, bioterrorists would most likely use the Venezuelan Equine virus strain. The VEE virus is capable of spreading to humans as well as horses. The virus would be aerosolized and would spread in a certain area. The amount of organisms needed to considered a lethal dose to humans is only 10-100. When the virus comes into contact with humans, they will exhibit flu- like symptoms, so it is hard to determine whether it is encephalitis unless large amounts of people and horses suddenly become sick. Creating encephalitis as a bioterrorism weapon is relatively simple since it remains stable through storage and manipulations in order to design it to make it a weapon. Both the United States and the Russians studied and considered using encephalitis. The fatality of encephalitis is low since the rate of mortality from it is less than 1%. If anything, the use of viral encephalitis as a
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bioterrorism weapon would be to weaken the population as opposed to trying to kill them. The World Health Organization estimated that if 50 kg of VEE particles were aerosolized and spread in a city of five million people, 30,000 people would suffer illnesses and only 300 would die.
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2011 for the course SOC 261 taught by Professor Barbaraweekley during the Fall '10 term at Saint Louis.

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microbes and stuff - Jason Lim Microbe, Plant and Animal...

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