How does it spread?
Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis
Incubation period is 1 to 6 days, but may be as long as 15 days
with a sudden onset of symptoms. They include fever, malaise,
and headache. Other symptoms that may appear include myalgia (72%),
vomiting (50%), drowsiness (40%), chills (20%), sore throat (20%
), and diarrhea (20%).
Fever can come and go. Patients may be incapacitated by malaise and fatigue for 1 - 2 weeks. Less than 1% of adults develop severe encephalitis (swelling of the brain) featuring meningismus, lack of muscular coordination, seizures, and coma.
Up to 30% of survivors of severe disease have permanent neurologic conditions, which include seizures and paralysis and various degrees of dementia.
This disease is spread by mosquitoes. Aerosol transmission has occurred in laboratory settings, but is not known to occur naturally. There is no evidence of direct human-to-human or horse-to-human transmission.
The virus can be destroyed by heat (80oC for 30 min) and standard disinfectants.
Lab tests may reveal a decrease in white blood cells. Specific
diagnosis depends on virus isolation, serology, or both. Virus
may be collected from the nose and throat for 3 days after the
onset of symptoms.
No specific treatment is available for this disease. Supportive
care may include aggressive airway management and anti-fever and
anticonvulsant drug administration.
At present, there is no pre-exposure or post-exposure immunoprophylaxis available. Other treatment info can be found here
A live, weakened vaccine is available as an investigational new
drug. A second, formalin-inactivated, killed vaccine is available
antibody titers in those initially receiving the first vaccine.
The case fatality rate in adults is approximately 1% of all cases,
but may reach 10% with central nervous system involvement. However,
outcomes are significantly worse for young and elderly patients,
with fatalities ranging from 4-35%.
USAMRIID's Medical Management of Biological Casualties Handbood; Fourth Edition February 2001; pages 9-10; http://usamriid.detrick.army.mil/education/bluebook/bluebook.pdf
Federation of American Scientists; http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/bw/agent.htm
Virtual Naval Hospital: Treatment of Biological Warfare Agent Casualties; http://www.vnh.org/FM8284/index.html
CBRNE - Biological Warfare Agents; http://www.emedicine.com/emerg/topic853.htm
All contents © 2001 Stan and Holly Deyo. All rights reserved.
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How does it spread?