Tropical Vibes in the Golden State

During my short stay in the Golden state, I began to wonder how the Dengue Virus mosquito-vector (Aedes Aegypti) were introduced here back in 2013, and whether Philandtropical could get a sexy logo.

Dengue Virus (DENV) comes in 4 guises, or ‘serotypes’, if you will. We simply call them DENV 1, 2, 3 and 4. In most cases, initial infection results in aching muscles, fever, headache, rash and joint pain. It can be severe, and dengue fever is also known, reasonably, as ‘break-bone’ fever. If you’re infected twice as a child or adult and with a different ‘serotype’ later on, that’s not great news. Likelihood of developing Dengue Haemorraghic Fever goes up and it isn’t pretty. There’s no vaccine, and no specific medicines to treat it and so a big way to minimise risk of contracting this disease is to clamp down on the vector. However, in 2013 the first reports of the mosquito vector breeding populations came through right here in sunny California posing the question of ‘How’d they get here?’.

Scientists have looked at the mozzie population here in California, and at the genetic data from other reference populations in Asia and the Americas and concluded that the likeliest introduction is from southeastern USA, as opposed to Mexico or laboratory breakouts. Luckily, there’s some great and ‘out-of-the-box’ research going on for Dengue – http://www.denguevaccines.org/.

In other news, Philandtropical has got itself a sexy new logo thanks to the artwork of 9.Ar7k, who is also working on a virus of his own in his California home- but in the world of computer gaming. Check his twitter feed @9_ar7k for more artwork / gaming / cool stuff. Thanks!

Looking over LA from Griffith Observatory

Looking over LA from Griffith Observatory

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