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Snakes in the Wild Harbor Deadly Mosquito-Borne EEEV Virus Through Hibernation, Study Finds

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Snakes in the wild serve as hosts for the deadly mosquito-borne Eastern equine encephalomyelitis Virus (EEEV), possibly acting as a "bridge" to the next season, according to researchers studying endemic areas in the Tuskegee National Forest in Alabama. This sets the stage for mosquitoes feeding on the infected snakes -- primarily in the early spring -- to become virus carriers. Scientists have been puzzled as to how the virus survived a harsh winter. With this new link established in the transmission cycle, a viable strategy to counter the virus may be at hand.

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