Infectious Diseases: Winter Resort for Viruses

The notion that mosquitoes bite snakes made most scientists laugh. But not the University of Utah's imaginative Microbiologist Louis P. Gebhardt Jr. By following up a hunch, Gebhardt has just climaxed an eight-year effort to trace the life cycle of a virus that causes one form of deadly brain inflammation commonly known as sleeping sickness.

Western equine encephalitis (or "WEE") was so named when it appeared that its chief victims were horses. But among 297 cases of human viral encephalitis in 1965, the U.S. Communicable Disease Center attributed no fewer than 172 to WEE, with four deaths. The outbreak reached epidemic...

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