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Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 Jul-Aug;7(4):722-5.

West Nile virus infection in mosquitoes, birds, horses, and humans, Staten Island, New York, 2000.

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New York City Department of Health, 125 Worth Street, New York, NY 10013, USA.


West Nile (WN) virus transmission in the United States during 2000 was most intense on Staten Island, New York, where 10 neurologic illnesses among humans and 2 among horses occurred. WN virus was isolated from Aedes vexans, Culex pipiens, Cx. salinarius, Ochlerotatus triseriatus, and Psorophora ferox, and WN viral RNA was detected in Anopheles punctipennis. An elevated weekly minimum infection rate (MIR) for Cx. pipiens and increased dead bird density were present for 2 weeks before the first human illness occurred. Increasing mosquito MIRs and dead bird densities in an area may be indicators of an increasing risk for human infections. A transmission model is proposed involving Cx. pipiens and Cx. restuans as the primary enzootic and epizootic vectors among birds, Cx. salinarius as the primary bridge vector for humans, and Aedes/Ochlerotatus spp. as bridge vectors for equine infection.

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