West Nile Virus Infected
Bird In Houston

Patricia A. Doyle, PhD

This is yet, another indication, that West Nile Virus (WNV) has become endemic and ingrained in the Western Hemisphere. I can no longer say that it is endemic and ingrained in North America or Northern Hemisphere because it is well adapted in the Southern Hemisphere as well as evidenced in repeated infection in Central America.
It appears that the virus is becoming even more adapted to the climate in parts of the US and Central America and has surfaced during Winter, indicating it is mutating.
Patricia Doyle
Date: Wed 11 Feb 2004
From: ProMED-mail
Source: Washington Times / United Press report, Tue 10 Feb 2004 [edited]
Texas: West Nile virus infected bird found in Houston
Officials in Houston, Texas, have discovered West Nile virus in a bird, but its early detection may not indicate a severe season. The fact the dead blue jay (found in north west Houston on 22 Jan 2004) tested positive for West Nile virus indicates the virus survived through winter and that Texas can expect to grapple with the mosquitoborne virus again this summer, according to Ray Parsons, head of Harris County's mosquito control division.
In 2003, infected birds were not found until May [2003], but the early detection is probably not an indicator of the severity of the problem West Nile [may] pose this year, the Houston Chronicle reported on Tue 10 Feb 2004. "There is really no need for alarm right now," Parsons said. "We wanted to put this information out because if we find something, we want to let the public know."
The vast majority of people who become infected with West Nile virus show no symptoms, or only mild symptoms such as a low fever. Severe symptoms, such as high fever, stiff neck, and muscle weakness, usually occur between 5 and 15 days after a bite from a virus-carrying mosquito, usually after the month of June.
[This is the 1st report of West Nile virus infection of any species in the
USA for the year 2004. We await developments. - Mod.CP]
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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