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Epidemiologia e Serviços de Saúde

versión impresa ISSN 1679-4974versión On-line ISSN 2237-9622


LUNA, Expedito J. A.; PEREIRA, Luis Eloy  y  SOUZA, Renato Pereira de. West Nile Encephalitis, our next epidemic?. Epidemiol. Serv. Saúde [online]. 2003, vol.12, n.1, pp.7-19. ISSN 1679-4974.

This work reviews the clinical and epidemiological aspects of West Nile Virus (WN) infections, including modes of transmission, reservoirs and vectors, as well as the geographical distribution of bird species serving as potential reservoirs and their migratory routes in the American Continent to permit a discussion of the possibility of WN virus being introduced into Brazil and propose reality-based strategies for surveillance. A review was undertaken using the MEDLINE database, for the period from 1991 to 2002, and by a search mechanism of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website (home page at the Internet: ) .Internationally recognized textbooks on the disciplines related to the study were also consulted. The WN virus is an arbovirus transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus infects mainly birds, humans and equines. In humans it may cause mild to serious illness, including death due to encephalitis. The first outbreak of WN infection in the Americas occurred in 1999 in New York City, United States of America (USA). Previously, the virus was found only in the Old World with migratory birds playing a major role in virus dissemination. South America receives hundreds of migratory bird species.from the Northern Hemisphere, many from areas where the virus has been detected. Those migrations could allow the dissemination of WN throughout the Americas. Therefore, the goal of a surveillance system would be the detection of the introduction of this virus in Brazil. The primary area of action of this surveillance system would be the environmental survey of reservoirs and vectors.

Palabras clave : West Nile Virus; epidemiology; migratory birds; epidemiological surveillance.

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