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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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West Nile Marches On
21 August 2001 7:00 pm
The West Nile virus continues to march across North America at a breathtaking pace. This summer it has been detected in many places in the southern U.S. as well as in southern Canada, and local health authorities everywhere are stepping up surveillance and control efforts. The virus has also claimed its first victim this year, a 71-year-old woman from downtown Atlanta who died on 11 August. Three other elderly people--two in Florida, one in New York City--have fallen ill so far.
West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus that primarily infects birds but can spread to humans and other mammals. Its first outbreak hit New York City in the summer 2 years ago. Last year it spread north to most states in New England and as far south as North Carolina (Science, 24 November 2000, p. 1482). Now, the virus has been found in dead birds in Georgia, Florida, and Louisiana. "It's made a big jump," says virologist Robert Tesh of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Meanwhile, researchers at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health in Winnipeg have detected the virus in birds from southern Ontario. They are still awaiting confirmation from an independent lab.
Whereas mosquito activity dwindles in the northern United States and Canada by fall, southern states may have to deal with the disease through the winter, Tesh says. And at the rate the virus is advancing, he adds, "I wouldn't be surprised to see it in Houston by the end of the summer."