[Skip to Navigation]
Contempo Updates
August 8, 2001

West Nile Virus

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Arbovirus Diseases Branch, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Service, US Department of Health and Human Services, Fort Collins, Colo.


Contempo Updates Section Editor: Alice T. D. Hughes, MD, Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 2001;286(6):651-653. doi:10.1001/jama.286.6.651

West Nile virus (WNV) first appeared in North America in the summer of 1999 in New York City causing 62 cases of human neurologic disease, 7 deaths, and leaving thousands of crows, other birds, and horses dead in its wake.1-3 At this time, there is no specific therapy available for WNV, which reappeared in 2000 and is expected to cause disease this year as well. Vaccines for WNV have been developed but still must undergo lengthy safety and efficacy testing. In this article, we will consider the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of WNV infections and review currently available strategies for surveillance, prevention, and control of WNV.