Serosurvey of a Rural Human Population for the Presence of West Nile Virus Antibodies

Hutchison, James R.
West Nile Virus (WNV) is an RNA arbovirus in the family Flaviviridae. While birds are the primary reservoir for the virus, humans can be a dead end host. In Wyoming, the Culex tarsalis mosquito acts as the primary vector. Most human infections are asymptomatic. In less than 1% of infections, however, severe symptoms including paralysis, meningitis, encephalitis, and death may occur. Fremont County is a hot spot of WNV with 69% of all human cases in Wyoming reported in 2006. Our study proposes to conduct a serosurvey of the human population of Fremont County to determine the number of people exposed to WNV. Sera will be tested using commercially available IgG and IgM antibody kits.
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