VENEZUELA EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS
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This is one of the Alphavirus spp. that occurs in southern United States through Central America and the northern South American area. The infection is frequently fatal to horses but generally quite mild in humans. There is evidence tht rodents are the most important amplifying hosts, and birds and bats may be also involved. The primary vectors are Culex spp. Epidemics involve equines that are the principal amplifying hosts. Aedes taeniorhynchus, Culex taeniopus and other Culex spp. and Psorophora confinnis are the main vectors. Humans and horses are considered to be dead end hosts for these viruses (Service 2008) because the virus titres are usually especially low.
Symptoms are flu-like with high fevers and headaches. Those with weak immune systems, children and elderly persons may suffer severely or even die from infection. When animals such as pigs, dogs and cattle are infected they usually do not have noticeable symptoms, but they are significant reservoirs for the virus.
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