According to scientists at Knoxville’s Center for Viral Anomalies, the West Nile Virus may have mutated into what has become known as the East Nile Virus. The virus, said to be more mischievous than its western counterpart, is spreading at a much slower rate, and has only been linked to the death of one chickadee in upstate New York. But there is even some controversy about that, because both virus types were found in the bird; it contained considerably more of the western variety than the eastern.
Researcher Jason V. Oorhees gave a press conference yesterday afternoon. “This virus is not known to be a threat to anyone at this time, except that one chickadee. Instead of mosquitoes, the East Nile Virus spreads through pillbugs, or rolly pollies as they are commonly called around here,” he said. “Since pillbugs are not predatory and do not typically bite humans, there is not much cause for concern. We assume the chickadee ate one and that caused its problem.”
He continued, “This virus causes laboratory animals to break a sweat, and may even cause death in really, really old feeble laboratory animals, we are still trying to find some of those to test on. But the trick is differentiating the East Nile variety from the regular, because they look a lot alike.”
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has not officially acknowledged the existence of this virus yet, but sources say they are “looking into it.” At this time, there have been no warnings issued, but the public is advised to stop eating rolly pollies.