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West Nile Virus infection : prevention and control
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    Viruses and bacteria can cause encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain) in humans and other animals. West Nile encephalitis is an infection of the brain caused by West Nile virus, a close relative of St. Louis encephalitis virus. West Nile virus is commonly found in Africa, West and Central Asia, and the Middle East (see map). In 1999 and 2000, it caused an outbreak of human encephalitis in and around New York City. It is not known how West Nile virus was introduced to the United States.

    People get West Nile encephalitis from the bite of a mosquito that is infected with West Nile virus. West Nile virus is NOT transmitted from person to person. For example, you cannot get West Nile virus from touching or kissing a person who has the disease or from a health care worker who has treated someone with the disease.

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