West Nile virus in California

William Reisen, Hugh Lothrop, Robert Chiles, Minoo Madon, Cynthia Cossen, Leslie Woods, Stan Husted, Vicki Kramer, John Edman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

197 Scopus citations


West Nile virus (WNV) was first isolated in California during July 2003 from a pool of Culex tarsalis collected near El Centro, Imperial County. WNV transmission then increased and spread in Imperial and Coachella Valleys, where it was tracked by isolation from pools of Cx. tarsalis, seroconversions in sentinel chickens, and seroprevalence in free-ranging birds. WNV then dispersed to the city of Riverside, Riverside County, and to the Whittier Dam area of Los Angeles County, where it was detected in dead birds and pools of Cx. pipiens quinquefasciatus. By October, WNV was detected in dead birds collected from riparian corridors in Los Angeles, west to Long Beach, and through inland valleys south from Riverside to San Diego County. WNV was reported concurrently from Arizona in mid-August, and from Baja, Mexico, in mid-November. Possible mechanisms for virus introduction, amplification, and dispersal are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1369-1378
Number of pages10
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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