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Estimated cumulative incidence of West Nile virus infection in US adults, 1999–2010

  • L. R. PETERSEN (a1), P. J. CARSON (a2) (a3), B. J. BIGGERSTAFF (a1), B. CUSTER (a4), S. M. BORCHARDT (a2) (a5) (a6) and M. P. BUSCH (a4) (a7)...

West Nile virus (WNV) was first recognized in the USA in 1999. We estimated the cumulative incidence of WNV infection in the USA from 1999 to 2010 using recently derived age- and sex-stratified ratios of infections to WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) and the number of WNND cases reported to national surveillance. We estimate that over 3 million persons have been infected with WNV in the USA, with the highest incidence rates in the central plains states. These 3 million infections would have resulted in about 780 000 illnesses. A substantial number of WNV infections and illnesses have occurred during the virus' first decade in the USA.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: L. R. Petersen, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3150 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, CO 80521, USA. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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