Friday, August 02, 2002

West Nile Virus in West Virginia

Prior to this summer, West Virginia and South Carolina were the only States east of the Mississippi in which WNV had not been confirmed. Then, last week, came word that a dead bird found in West Virginia had tested positive for WNV. According the West Virginia Infectious Disease Epidemiology Program, the infected bird was an Eastern Bluebird, a result which I find most interesting. In the vast majority of cases in which WNV has been detected in birds, the American Crow has been the species involved.

View this map to see how rapidly WNV has spread across the country since it's initial detection in the vicinity of New York City in 1999. I can't help but wonder, if WNV had not been detected in the U.S. until the summer of 2002, would the news media now be touting this summer's outbreak in Louisiana as the work of terrorists?

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