Cardinals Slow West Nile Virus’s Spread In Atlanta
The residents of Atlanta may have a tiny, feathered protector against West Nile virus, a new study indicates. Each summer, cardinals take one for the team and draw mosquito bites that might otherwise go to American robins, which are very good at passing along the virus when bitten. By keeping West Nile virus away from these avian “superspreaders,” the beleaguered cardinals may tamp down transmission of the disease to people. Since its arrival in the continental United States in 1999, West Nile virus has infected over 780,000 people.