Arboviral Surveillance Definitions & Geography Methodology

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West Nile virus (WNV)

West Nile virus (WNV) is a flavivirus closely related to other mosquito-borne viruses such as Dengue, Yellow Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, and St. Louis Encephalitis. Since it's arrival in Georgia in 2001, WNV has been the most frequently identified mosquito-borne virus in the state. WNV causes disease in birds, horses, humans, and rarely other mammals. Most human infections are asymptomatic or mild, although occasionally WNV infection can cause serious, potentially fatal neurologic illness. People over 50 and people with chronic medical conditions are most at risk of developing serious illness when infected with WNV.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE)

Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus (EEE) is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause serious neurologic disease in humans, horses, and birds. Nearly all equine infections are fatal, and up to 50% of human illnesses are fatal. While human cases of EEE infection are rare in Georgia (approximately 0 - 2 cases per year), outbreaks among humans and horses occasionally occur. Children under 15 years and adults over 65 years are most at risk of developing serious illness when infected with EEE.

LaCrosse virus (LAC)

LaCrosse virus (LAC) is a mosquito-borne virus belonging to the California Encephalitis group. LAC rarely causes serious disease in infected persons. Children under 17 years are most at risk of developing symptoms when infected with LAC. Human cases of LAC infection are rare in Georgia (approximately 1 case per year) but are probably under-diagnosed.

Mosquito Pools

The collection and combining of mosquitoes for virus testing, commonly referred to as "mosquito pooling", is part of an arbovirus surveillance program. Mosquitoes are trapped, identified, and grouped into pools of 1-25 mosquitoes by species, date, and location, for testing. The mosquito pools are tested by cell culture assay and/or RT-PCR to determine which virus, if any, is present.
 
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