Herald Journal Columns
June 26, 2006, Herald Journal

West Nile Virus sweeps nation!

By KRISTEN MILLER

Along with summer comes blood-sucking mosquitoes. And along with mosquitoes comes the West Nile Virus.

The state has reported two dead birds that tested positive for West Nile, but no cases have yet to be reported in humans this year.

According to Fox 9 News, only one percent of mosquitoes have the virus and the chances for humans to contract the virus is even less than that.

Also, it was stated in the Star Tribune by Metropolitan Mosquito Control’s Mike McLean, that this is only the fifth year the virus has been detected in Minnesota “So who’s to say what’s normal and what isn’t.”

This virus could’ve been around for years, but now that it has been identified, there’s cause for so much hype. Now that it is, the world’s in a panic because it has a name.

It’s like cancer. Cancer has more than likely been around since the beginning of time. It didn’t start with cigarette smoking. But that’s what it’s perceived as now, because that can be a legitimate cause for it.

What I’m trying to say, is that just because a disease or virus has been officially named and identified, doesn’t mean we should be all too concerned that it’s sweeping the nation in rapid speed, like supposedly the bird flu.

It just gives people something else to talk about and others to be concerned themselves with, when in actuality, it might not be anything all too alarming or new.

By no means am I saying the virus isn’t serious, but I think the news tends to exaggerate and in turn scares people.

Yes, I think people should take the necessary precautions, like using bug spray, but I am not overly concerned that this is a major epidemic sweeping the nation.

Maybe we should be concerning ourselves more with an impulsive dictator, Kim Jong of North Korea, launching nuclear missiles.

Traits of a serial killer

It was reported that three young boys, two 6-year-olds and one 8-year-old beat a small puppy to death in North Branch last week.

The family had left the three-pound miniature pinscher tied outside while they went to buy groceries. When they came home, the puppy was nearly dead.

It appeared the boys had used a stick and a rock slightly smaller than a cantaloupe, according to the Star Tribune.

Bella, the dog, had suffered from a broken leg and was brain dead and put on a ventilator. Later that day, the family decided to take her off the ventilator and Bella died an hour later.

My question is, what would possess a child to torture a cute, little puppy like Bella?

In my psychology classes, this would be an early sign of a potential serial killer.

Apparently, one of the boys didn’t participate in the beating, so there is hope for him. As for the other two, I think the parents should seek help for them before it’s too late.

After the dog died, the family put their house up for sale because they didn’t want their two daughters living in the same neighborhood as these boys.

I don’t blame them. If they have the mentality to do this to a dog, who knows what else they are capable of.

According to the article in the Star Tribune, any action taken against the boys is yet to be determined. The family has contacted “The People’s Court,” television show and they have shown interest in the case.


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