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Press Release 11-229

West Nile Virus Transmission Linked with Land-Use Patterns and "Super-spreaders"

Spread highest in urbanized and agricultural habitats

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Image of an American robin.

American robins play a key role in the spread of West Nile virus.

Credit: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service


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Photo of a gray catbird caught in a research mistnet near a museum in Washington, D.C.

Gray catbird caught in a research mistnet near a museum in Washington, D.C.

Credit: Marm Kilpatrick


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Photo of scientist Marm Kilpatrick taking a blood sample from a downy woodpecker.

Scientist Marm Kilpatrick taking a blood sample from a downy woodpecker.

Credit: Marm Kilpatrick


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Map of the western hemisphere showing the year of West Nile virus detection.

In a decade, West Nile virus has spread across the U.S. from coast to coast.

Credit: Marm Kilpatrick


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Photo of a Culex pipiens mosquito, carrier of the West Nile virus, on human skin.

An offender, a Culex pipiens mosquito, responsible for the spread of West Nile virus.

Credit: Joseph Hoyt


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Photo of a field of corn with a barn and farm houses in the background.

Agricultural fields are among the favorite locales of birds carrying West Nile virus.

Credit: USDA


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Cover of the October 21, 2011 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' work is described in the October 21, 2011 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2011


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