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Serologic evidence for West Nile virus infection in birds in the New York City vicinity during an outbreak in 1999.
  • Published Date:
    2001 Jul-Aug
  • Source:
    Emerg Infect Dis. 7(4):621-625.
Filetype[PDF-70.64 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    Emerg Infect Dis
  • Description:
    As part of an investigation of an encephalitis outbreak in New York City, we sampled 430 birds, representing 18 species in four orders, during September 13-23, 1999, in Queens and surrounding counties. Overall, 33% were positive for West Nile (WN) virus-neutralizing antibodies, and 0.5% were positive for St. Louis encephalitis virus-neutralizing antibodies. By county, Queens had the most seropositive birds for WN virus (50%); species with the greatest seropositivity for WN virus (sample sizes were at least six) were Domestic Goose, Domestic Chicken, House Sparrow, Canada Goose, and Rock Dove. One sampled bird, a captive adult Domestic Goose, showed signs of illness; WN virus infection was confirmed. Our results support the concept that chickens and House Sparrows are good arbovirus sentinels. This study also implicates the House Sparrow as an important vertebrate reservoir host.

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