- Hello, Jeff - As I suspected, we are seeing cases in
Central America. Last year we saw West Nile LIKE virus spread from Coast
to Coast in the US. Epidemiologists were stumped.
- I suspected that West Nile LIKE virus had been establishing
itself in Central, South America and the Carribbean as far back as 2000
and this theory would explain why we saw cases from Atlantic to Pacific.
- There would be no reason to think that West Nile LIKE
virus would not establish itself in Central and South America as well as
the Carribbean as there are endemic vector populations able to spread the
- The question arises, "How ingrained is West Nile
LIKE virus in the Western Hemisphere?" I believe that some areas of
Central and South America won't know how ingrained the virus is until they
witness die-offs. It would not surprise me to hear that there will penguin
die=offs as far south as the tip of Argentina and Chile.
- The genie is out of the bottle on this one.
- Patricia Doyle
- Date: Posted to ProMED Mail Sun May 4
- Source: Margarita Sanchez , El Diario de Hoy (El Salvador),
Tue Apr 29 2003 (translated by Maria Jacobs, ProMED-ESP) <http://www.elsalvador.com/noticias/2003/04/29/nacional/nacio9.html>
- (ProMED Id: 20030504.1116) Submitted to ProMED by Pablo
- Jose Francisco Lopez Beltran, Minister of Health of El
Salvador, announced that on Apr 29, 2003, 3 of 10 samples sent to CDC a
month ago were WNV-positive. The samples were taken from horses that died
with symptoms of the disease in the locality of Usulutan.
- Lopez Beltran repeated on several occasions that, thus
far, there have been no reports of cases of human infection.
- As a preventive measure, health authorities are monitoring
the areas known to be rest stations for migrating birds, which can transport
the virus over great distances. Presumably, this is how the virus reached
- WNV is transmitted by _Culex_ mosquitoes, a vector that
breeds in stagnant waters, as opposed to _Aedes aegypti_, the vector of
dengue fever, which breeds in clean water. The preventive measures implemented
by the Ministry of Health include the spraying of ponds and stagnant waters.
Lopez Beltran emphasized that, as with dengue fever, the best prevention
is to avoid the collection of stagnant water.
- [Pro-MED Commentary: This is the first report of WNV
infection of horses in Central America and possibly represents the most
southerly penetration of WNV infection in humans in the Americas thus far.
The death of an 11-year-old boy in El Salvador in September 2002 was reported
as a suspected case of WNV fever, but it is not clear whether the death
of the young boy was attributed finally to WNV infection or another viral
encephalitis. A human case of WNV infection (probably imported from the
USA) was reported in 2002 in Mexico, and a single human case in the Cayman
Islands in 2001. There have been no other confirmed reports of WNV infection
in Central America or the Caribbean. - Mod.CP]
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health