History of West Nile Virus

Early history

West Nile virus was first isolated in 1937 in the West Nile district of Uganda. Since then, there have been outbreaks in Egypt, Israel, South Africa, and in parts of Europe, Asia and North America.

Brief timeline

1999 – North America records its first human WNv outbreak, reported in New York City.

2001 – WNv activity reported in Canadian birds; WNv activity also detected in mosquito pools in southern Ontario.

2002 – Canada reports its first human case of WNv.

2003 – Alberta confirms its first WNv- infected bird (July).

2003 – Alberta reports its first human case of WNv (August).

2007 – 2,215 cases reported across Canada, 318 in Alberta (probable and confirmed).

2010 – Only 5 cases reported across Canada.

2011 – Reported cases on the rise again with 101 cases in Canada.

2012 – Alberta reports first West Nile virus-related death since 2007.

2012 – According to the CDC, over 37,000 cases have been reported in the U.S. since 1999.

For Canadian Human Case Data (for all provinces and territories, including Alberta) from 2002-2012, visit: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/wnv-vwn/index-eng.php

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