Virologists A New Breed of Warriors
What Is A Virologist and What Do They Do? A virologist is some one who studies viruses. These are the people who research viruses and sometimes find a vaccine for them. An example of this is Influenza. There are many levels on which on which a virologist can be on. They range from 0 to 4. You should note that there is no level one.
What Is A Virologist and What Do They Do?(continued.) One level 0 are the most common and least harmful viruses. Like the cold. On level 2 are more dangerous strains, such as hepatitis. On level 3 are viruses such as HIV and AIDS.
What Is A Virologist and What Do They Do?(continued.) And on level 4 are the most dangerous strains. Such as Ebola, Hanta, and Marhburg. This is the area with maximum protection. The doctors here wear space suits and there are only 2 facilities in the United States with the capability of studying level four viruses, the CDC in Atlanta and USAMRIID in Maryland.
The Choices: All the things that a Virologist can study Virology divides up into many sub-categories. Some of these include: Biological Warfare Epidemology Lab Research Field Research Community Health Assessment Education and Research Public Health
School Virologists have to go to school for many years, and just like any other medical profession, it is an on-going process. There are many subjects that a virologist needs to know. Chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, epidemology, and even virology.
Working Virologists can work in many different places, ranging from your local hospital, to the Biohazard Level Four lab at the CDC to a remote region of the rainforest in Africa. Virologist can also find jobs working for pharmaceutical companies helping develop vaccines. In Volusia country, a virologist can work at a laboratory at the Halifax hospital, or they can work for the County Health Department.
Salary Like everything else a virologists salary ranges from a little to a whole lot. Why? It all depends on the biohazard level, the amount of research done, travel, who they are working for, and how much research has been done. A virologist can make anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000+ dollars a year. Depending on what they do, how much education they have, and where they work.
How is a Virologist Important to the Environment? A virologist does contribute to the environment. When you see a tree with strange bumps and other such things, many times that is caused by a virus. Also, many viruses are carried by animals. If an animal is sick and spreading the disease, many times a virologist must be called in to try to make a vaccine so it can cure the disease and prevent an epidemic in both animals and people.
An Example:Malaria An example of the diseases that a virologist helps to cure, that is found in the environment. Malaria is a disease caused by one of four parasites and is lethal, unless diagnosed early. Malaria is most common in Africa and tropical climates Symptoms of malaria include fever, shivering, pain in the joints, headache, repeated vomiting, generalized convulsions and coma. Severe anaemia (exacerbated by malaria) is often the attributable cause of death in areas with intense malaria transmission. If not treated, the disease, particularly that caused by P. falciparum, progresses to severe malaria. Severe malaria is associated with death.
Malaria (continued) Malaria is transmitted by Anopheline mosquitoes, the number and type of which determine the extent of transmission in a given area. Transmission of malaria is affected by climate and geography, and often coincides with the rainy season. Insecticide treated bednets and curtains have emerged in recent years as a promising tool although their use in Africa is limited. Results from multi-centre randomized, controlled field trials in Africa supported by (TDR) suggest that in certain epidemiological situations, overall childhood mortality can be lowered by 15 to 35% through the use of insecticide-impregnated bednets. Further research is required to enhance the effectiveness of bednets or curtains in operational settings and to ensure their use in a sustainable manner.
Malaria (Continued) Due to the considerable overlap in signs and symptoms of several childhood diseases, a single diagnosis for a sick child is often inappropriate. WHO and UNICEF have responded to this challenge by developing an approach referred to as the "Integrated Management of Childhood Illness". Evidence from surveys of health worker performance and of management of illness in the home suggests that improvements are likely to reduce childhood mortality significantly. Despite the simple technology and relatively low direct costs, microscope diagnosis is still expensive, requiring an adequate infrastructure to purchase and maintain supplies and equipment, to train health workers and to ensure proper quality assurance of the service. The results of recent evaluations of standardized antigen detection tests including 'dipsticks' suggest that they have potential for use in the management of malaria disease, if accuracy can be assured and the test made affordable for those in need.
Malaria (Continued) New user-friendly packaging of anti-malarials separates the dose to be taken at each time point, and provides simple non-medical information to patients. It can result in 20% more malaria sufferers following their treatment through until they are cured, and this greater compliance in turn means less possibility of drug resistance developing. Rectal artesunate is being developed because patients in malaria endemic countries, who are commonly at high risk of death from malaria, often cannot get to health services. So an existing drug is being reformulated for a new indication: emergency treatment to cover a patient on the way to hospital. If regulatory approval is justified, the suppositories will be used for treating severely ill patients who cannot take drugs by mouth and who cannot rapidly access safe injectable treatment.
Fast Facts • A virologist studies viruses and tries to make anti-viruses. • A virologist can make anywhere form 30-100,000+ dollars a year. • A virologist salary depends on what they do, where they work, and how much education they have. • There are four biohazard levels. • There are only 2 facilities with the capabilities to handle a level 4 virus, the CDC and USAMRIID.
Resources • Encyclopedia of Careers, Volume 2. • Published by the J. G. Furguson Publishing Company • 1997 • World Health Organization. MALARIA. October 1998. May 15, 2000. <http://www.who.int/inf-fs/en/fact094.html>