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You are here: Home / Microbes / Species Profiles / West Nile Virus
Species Profiles

West Nile Virus

West Nile VirusScientific name: Flavivirus (Mackenzie et al. 2004)

Common name: West Nile Virus (WNS)

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Selected Resources

Native To: First discovered in Africa (Campbell et al. 2002)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 1999 (Calisher 2000)

Means of Introduction: Accidental (Calisher 2000)

Impact: Infects birds and mammals (including humans). West Nile virus is primarily an avian pathogen, and is transmitted among birds by ornithophilic (bird-biting) mosquitoes; including the Asian tiger mosquito and other mosquito species (Hayes et al. 2005)

Current U.S. Distribution: Most of U.S.

  • Disease Maps - Dynamic Map Viewer
    DOI. United States Geological Survey; DHHS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Maps updated to present. Select data by disease (WN), vector (mosquito), state, and year (includes historical data from 2003).
  • West Nile Virus - Statistics & Maps
    DHHS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Includes final annual and cumulative maps & data from 1999.



Selected Resources:

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Fact Sheets - West Nile Virus (Jul 2011)
UN. World Health Organization.

Global Invasive Species Database - West Nile Virus (micro-organism)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invasive Species Compendium - West Nile Virus
CAB International.

Pest Alert: West Nile Virus
North Central Integrated Pest Management Center.

Federal Government

Disease Information - West Nile Virus
DOI. USGS. National Wildlife Health Center.

Diseases & Conditions - West Nile Virus
DHHS. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

West Nile Virus
DHHS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

State Government

California West Nile Virus Website
California Department of Health Services; California Department of Food and Agriculture; Mosquito and Vector Control Association of California; California Vectorborne Disease Surveillance System.

Disease Facts and Data - West Nile Virus
King County Public Health (Washington).

Diseases Listing - West Nile Virus
Hawaii State Department of Health. Disease Outbreak Control Division.

Health Topics - West Nile Virus
New York City Department of Health.

Michigan Wildlife Disease Manual - West Nile Virus (WNV)
Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
See the complete Wildlife Disease Manual for a list of diseases that are of significance to Michigan wildlife.

Michigan Emerging Disease Issues - West Nile Virus
State of Michigan.

Wildlife-Related Diseases - West Nile Virus
Pennsylvania Game Commission.


Animal Disease Information - West Nile Virus
Iowa State University. Center for Food Security and Public Health.

EDIS - What is West Nile Virus?
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension.
Electronic Data Information Source Publication #ENY-642

Introduced Species Summary Project - West Nile Virus
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.


Diseases & Conditions: West Nile Virus
Cleveland Clinic.


Calisher, C.H. 2000. West Nile virus in the New World: appearance, persistence, and adaptation to a new econiche—an opportunity taken. Viral Immunology 13(4):411-414.

Campbell, G.L., A.A. Marfin, R.S. Lanciotti, and D.J. Gubler. 2002. West Nile virus. Lancet Infectious Diseases 2(9):519-529.

Hayes E.B, N. Komar, R.S. Nasc, S.P. Montgomery, D.R. O'Leary, G.L. Campbell. 2005. Epidemiology and transmission dynamics of West Nile virus disease (PDF | 6.7 MB). Emerging Infectious Diseases 11(8):1167-1173.

Mackenzie, J.S., D.J. Gubler, and L.R. Petersen. 2004. Emerging flaviviruses: the spread and resurgence of Japanese encephalitis, West Nile and dengue viruses. Nature Medicine 10:S98–S109.

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Last Modified: Sep 03, 2018
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