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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
January 15, 2003

Provisional Surveillance Summary of the West Nile Virus Epidemic—United States, January–November 2002

JAMA. 2003;289(3):293-295. doi:10.1001/jama.289.3.293

MMWR. 2002;51:1129-1133

2 figures, 1 table omitted

This report presents provisional summary surveillance data about West Nile virus (WNV) activity that were reported to CDC during January 1–November 30, 2002, through the ArboNET surveillance network. In 2002, the reported numbers of human and animal infections increased, and the geographic range of WNV activity expanded substantially. These data underscore the need for intensive surveillance to detect and quantify WNV activity in areas where humans are at risk, public education to teach persons how to prevent mosquito bites, and sustained and integrated mosquito-control activities.

ArboNET is a web-based surveillance data network comprising 54 state and local public health departments and CDC. Specimens from ill humans and animals, dead birds, captive sentinel animals (mostly chickens), wild-caught birds, and mosquitoes were collected by state and local public health departments and other cooperating state and federal agencies and tested for WNV or WNV-specific antibody. Test results, the county and date of specimen collection or illness onset, and other data were entered into state and local public health department databases. Animal data were forwarded regularly to ArboNET through a secure data network; human cases were reported to CDC by telephone or facsimile only.