Deadly Outbreak of West Nile Virus Highlights Urgent Need for More Research, Funding

Mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) caused 26 deaths already this year, and nearly 700 cases had been reported by mid-August according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). WNV had become "old news" among the public and the media. Furthermore, funding to support research, training and education, and surveillance and vector control had waned. Now there is an urgent imperative to redouble our efforts to understand and control this dangerous virus. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, a major peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers, has published numerous timely and informative studies on WNV, and articles on the topic published since 2007 are available free on the Journal website through September 10 to help disseminate vital information about this deadly virus that continues to infect and kill people across the U.S. and abroad.

Texas is currently a hotspot for WNV, reporting more than 336 cases and 14 deaths to date, resulting in a state of emergency and aerial spraying for mosquito control in Dallas County, but several other states are also reporting fatal West Nile cases.

“No conclusive explanation has been offered for the increased number of WNV cases, but over the years, many experts have learned that predictions related to West Nile virus should be made with caution,” says Stephen Higgs, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases and Associate Vice President for Research, Research Director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Peine Professor of Biosecurity, and Professor of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.

"Our journal, Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, will continue to inform researchers and public health experts and policymakers on all aspects of WNV around the world," adds Dr. Higgs.

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Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.