Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Asked: 3/1/2008, 14:32 by Debbie Geyer.
Answered: 5/1/2008, 16:08 by Douglas Welsh, James Urry.
The midges get infected with the AHS virus from taking a blood meal from a horse/donkey/zebra in the same way that Malaria is transmitted by certain female Anopheles mosquitoes. The inoculation form of the virus (which has been altered so that it causes an immune reaction, but does not cause the AHS disease) cannot be transmitted via the midges and therefore inoculating does not risk the spread of AHS. The transmission of the disease during the warm summer months when the midges are the most active and require blood meals to breed is our risk period. During the winter when the midges do not breed we know that the virus remains (or over-winters) in animals such as zebra's that can carry the virus, but are unaffected by it.