U.S. Outbreak of West Nile Virus Infection

Author: Monica Preboth
Date: August 15, 2000

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have cosponsored a meeting of experts in a wide range of disciplines to review the U.S. outbreak of West Nile virus and to provide input and guidance on programs that should be developed to monitor virus activity. The guidelines appear in the January 21, 2000 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The emergence of West Nile virus in the northeastern United States in 1999 raised the issue of preparedness of public health agencies to handle sporadic and outbreak-associated vectorborne diseases. It is not known whether the virus can last through the winter, whether it has or will spread to new geographic locations, and what the implications of this disease will be. Because of these concerns, proactive laboratory-based surveillance and prevention and control programs should be established to limit the impact of the virus in the United States.

The guidelines cover the priority of enhanced surveillance in states that are already affected by the virus or that have the potential for being affected, the laboratory diagnosis of the virus, control of mosquitos to prevent transmission, public health infrastructure, interjurisdictional data sharing and research priorities.

COPYRIGHT 2000 American Academy of Family PhysiciansCOPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group

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