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Medical News & Perspectives
May 14, 2008

Effects of West Nile Virus May Persist

JAMA. 2008;299(18):2135-2136. doi:10.1001/jama.299.18.2135

Atlanta—Since 1999, when West Nile virus caused an epidemic in New York City, the virus has heeded an old adage for growth and opportunity: go West.

In less than a decade, the virus has spread across the country, becoming endemic in the United States. The virus' rapid spread has given researchers little time to evaluate the infection's long-term complications. But findings from new studies presented here during the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in March reveal a course of illness that, for some patients, is characterized by substantial and long-lasting cognitive and functional impairments.

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