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West Nile Virus


West Nile Virus
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.75

     challenging words:    encephalitis, flu-like, inflammation, repellant, epidemic, bloodstream, diagnose, elderly, currently, therefore, microscopic, multiplies, organism, transmit, possibility, extremely
     content words:    West Nile Virus, West Nile, Nile Virus, Middle East, United States

West Nile Virus
By Jennifer Kenny

1     Have you ever heard of the West Nile virus? Its name came from the province in Uganda where it was first found. The West Nile virus was first discovered there in 1937. It is a virus of the genus Flavivirus. That's quite a mouthful.
2     The West Nile virus is a microscopic organism. It can cause disease in birds, horses, humans, bats, skunks, and squirrels. Since the 1950s, there have been outbreaks of the West Nile virus in Africa, the Middle East, Australia, and some portions of Europe. It was first noticed in the United States in 1999.
3     The West Nile virus is spread by the Culex genus of mosquito. Not all mosquitoes are infected, though. Mosquitoes sometimes feed on infected birds and ingest the virus. When they bite humans or animals, they can transmit the virus. Once in the bloodstream, it multiplies and spreads. Not everyone that is bitten by an infected mosquito will get the virus.

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