UVM to test West Nile Virus vaccine

UVM Scientists are set to test a vaccine for the West Nile virus which has penetrated the state in the last decade. Here’s the news from WCAX News:

It won’t be long before the mosquitoes start biting again; it’s a given in Vermont. And just like the pests themselves, experts say the West Nile virus that some of them carry is here to stay. West Nile first came to the United States in 1999 and is now the country’s leading vector-borne cause of viral encephalitis. Doctors say more than 3 million have been infected so far.

“It can cause most commonly an encephalitis-type picture in people that do have neurological symptoms,” said Dr. Kristen Pierce of UVM-Fletcher Allen infectious disease.

And it can be fatal. To date, there is no treatment for West Nile virus and there’s no preventive medication either. But researchers at the University of Vermont’s Vaccine Testing Center are working to change that. They’re about to begin a new trial on the first ever West Nile virus vaccine developed by the National Institutes of Health.

Read the article and watch the segment here.