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Gulf Coast probable location for next West Nile outbreak

Scientists say birds have carried virus across U.S.

Copyright 2000 New Scientist



The bird virus that killed seven New Yorkers last year has now spread all over the Americas, say U.S. researchers. They warn that the Gulf Coast of the United States will probably see the next outbreak of West Nile virus.

Despite the threat, U.S. authorities have so far failed to provide the research funding to keep tabs on the virus in wild birds. The scientists say that scrupulous monitoring of bird populations is needed, otherwise it won't be possible to identify and spray high-risk areas with insecticide to kill the mosquitoes that transmit the virus to people.

The infection is endemic to Africa, Asia and Europe, where it resides harmlessly in many bird species but kills others, according to Bob McLean


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