28 Californians and Millions of Birds Killed by West Nile Virus

Revelation 6:7,8 NCV When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, "Come!"8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse. Its rider was named death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill people by war, by starvation, by disease, and by the wild animals of the earth.

A study, released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has found that the West Nile virus is annihilating the native bird population in the United States. The study looked at the impact of the virus on 49 species from information collected at over 500 bird banding stations across the U.S. from 1992 to 2007.
UCLA’s Ryan Harrigan and his colleagues found significant declines in survival rates associated with West Nile virus for 23 out of 49 of the species examined.

Millions of birds can die in a single year when West Nile hits species with large populations. Among the estimated 130 million red-eyed vireos in the United States, researchers believe the virus killed 29 percent, or more than 37 million.

West Nile, a mosquito-borne virus, was introduced in North America in 1989. It has drawn the most attention for its impact on humans, with 1 in 5 people who are infected developing a fever with other symptoms, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In rare cases, people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.

According to the CDC, West Nile Virus which originated in birds, then spread to mammals and then humans killed 85 people last year with 2,122 cases reported. So far, 63 deaths have been reported, 28 in California alone, with 1,197 cases reported in the United States. The first deaths from West Nile Virus were reported in 1999.

The most deaths were reported in 2012 with 5674 cases reported and 286 deaths.

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