West Nile Virus 2005

As predicted, the West Nile virus cases this year were mostly on the West coast:

WNV Nov 8, 2005

That’s what happens as a pandemic like WNV is spread. Make no mistake, it’s here to stay given the number of animal reservoirs for the virus.

CDC West Nile Virus page.

Astonishing USGS West Nile maps.


  1. It’s here to stay, but also it’s obviously not the tragedy it was billed to be.
    Here in KY, the 4 cases listed may be a bit underreported (testing probably not done), but clearly we did not see the numbers as we did in recent years.
    I have no data, but there seemed to be a massive drop in the number of normally ubiquitous crows when WNV stormed through here. Now they seem on the rebound. What remains to be seen is whether there is some change in crow behavior or biology that prevents episodic bursts in WNV cases in the future.

  2. And these are only the reported cases. Remember, most WNV cases are mild and do not come to medical attention.

  3. Sacramento county was the epicenter for the CA WNV epidemic this year. It was quite scary to see the corvid family of birds literally drop dead. Saw a couple dead crows along the road this summer. The native yellow beak magpie disappeared for a few months. There was speculation that the magpie may not recover. However, just this weekend saw a group of magpies on my lawn for literally the first time since the peak of the epidemic.

    I personally was a bit concerned during the epidemic since my own health issues cause me to be immunosuppressed and many cases were near my residence. I was all in favor for the aerial spraying that took place. However, many were not pleased with the Sacto-Yolo cty vector control decisions to spray.

    Next year will have my Mosquito Magnet ready. Don’t want to become one of the statistics/victims. Interestingly, in Sacto county, there were more than the usual ratio of cases w/ neurologic manifestations (including an octogenerian we see in clinic who developed RUE weakness due to WNV infection.) As Greg P and Gruntdoc point out, this probably represents under reporting or lack of detection of mild cases.

  4. Spraying for the mosquitos is, to me, a feel-good measure, but I can understand the desire to do something.

    Two years ago when WNV got to Texas, Dallas County sprayed for skeeters but Tarrant (Fort Worth) County didn’t. These two counties abut each other, have very similar demographics, and not much of a difference in the human cases with or without spraying. They did the same this year, and again not much change (I haven’t looked into the non-human case rates).

    Expect your CA cases to do what ours did after the initial explosion: go down to a low level and stay there.

  5. Are we gonna die? lol Those numbers don’t look too happy.

  6. Well, out of 280+ million in the US, these numbers aren’t scary at all.

    And, the majority of these reported cases survive.