Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New York West Nile Virus Survey: Many More Infections Than Previously Thought

Date:
July 30, 2001
Source:
New York City Department Of Health
Summary:
In an article that appears in this week's British medical journal, The Lancet, New York City Health Department investigators provide additional detail on the previously announced results of the 1999 West Nile virus survey done in Northern Queens. The study led by Health Department epidemiologist, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., concludes that during the 1999 outbreak, for every diagnosed case of meningitis or encephalitis resulting from West Nile virus, there were possibly 140 other infections, over 20 percent of which experienced mild viral illnesses.

(July 27, 2001) -- In an article that appears in this week's British medical journal, The Lancet, New York City Health Department investigators provide additional detail on the previously announced results of the 1999 West Nile virus survey done in Northern Queens. The study led by Health Department epidemiologist, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., concludes that during the 1999 outbreak, for every diagnosed case of meningitis or encephalitis resulting from West Nile virus, there were possibly 140 other infections, over 20 percent of which experienced mild viral illnesses. The preliminary results of the survey were announced in March 2000.

Related Articles


Dr. Mostashari, said, "As West Nile virus becomes more established in the northeastern United States and threatens to extend its geographic range in the future, public-health authorities should be aware of the entire range of illness caused by West Nile virus. Physicians in communities at risk for West Nile virus disease outbreaks should consider infection with this virus in unexplained summertime fevers, especially if accompanied by headache, muscle ache, and joint pain."

In the summer of 1999, West Nile virus was recognized in the western hemisphere for the first time, when it caused an epidemic of encephalitis and meningitis in New York City. Intensive hospital-based surveillance identified 59 cases of meningitis or encephalitis (3 other cases of less sever illnesses were identified), including seven deaths in the region. The New York City Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA, did a household-based survey in October 1999, six weeks after the peak of the outbreak. The study appearing in The Lancet assesses more clearly the public-health impact of the epidemic, its range of illness, and risk factors associated with infection.

The investigators used a representative sample of households in an area of about 7.3 km2 at the outbreak epicenter. Blood samples were tested for antibodies specific for West Nile virus. 677 individuals from 459 households took part in the survey. 19 (2.6%) were seropositive (i.e., they had the virus confirmed by blood test); nearly one third of these individuals reported a recent febrile illness, compared with 70 of 648 (11%) who were seronegative.

Mild illnesses including fever, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, and painful joints were highly associated with seropositivity. By extrapolation from the 59 diagnosed meningitis and encephalitis cases, the investigators estimated that New York City as a whole may have had as many as 8200 West Nile viral infections, including about 1700 mild illnesses related to infections. The risk of severe illness was higher among older people, with one case of meningoencephalitis for every 50 infections for those aged 65 years and over, compared with one case for every 300 infections for people aged less than 65 years.

Use of DEET-containing mosquito-repellent was protective of infection in those who spent 2 or more hours outdoors between dusk and dawn, the peak biting period for Culex mosquitoes. However, 70% of residents reported never using mosquito repellent, even after the outbreak was recognized, despite mass media and other public education messages encouraging its use.

No human infections have been detected thus far this year in New York City. The Health Department has a comprehensive West Nile virus surveillance, control and educational plan. More information can be obtained from the West Nile virus information line at 1-877-WNV-4NYC, or the Health Department's Web site at http://nyc.gov/health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by New York City Department Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

New York City Department Of Health. "New York West Nile Virus Survey: Many More Infections Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 July 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010730082154.htm>.
New York City Department Of Health. (2001, July 30). New York West Nile Virus Survey: Many More Infections Than Previously Thought. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010730082154.htm
New York City Department Of Health. "New York West Nile Virus Survey: Many More Infections Than Previously Thought." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/07/010730082154.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Slowed-down footage of the leaps of praying mantises show the insect&apos;s extraordinary precision, say researchers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) A photographer got the shot of a lifetime, or rather an octopus did, when it grabbed the camera and turned it around to take an amazing picture of the photographer. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins