APPENDIX II-BN:  Campbell, et al, “Epidemic West Nile Encephalitis in Romania: Waiting for History to Repeat Itself,” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 951: 94-101 (2001).


This appendix is copied from:



WEST NILE VIRUS: DETECTION, SURVEILLANCE, AND CONTROL  Copyright 8 2001 by the New York Academy of Sciences


Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 951:94‑101 (2001)

8 2001 New York Academy of Sciences


Epidemic West Nile Encephalitis in Romania


Waiting for History to Repeat Itself



Division of Vector‑Borne Infectious Diseases, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Service, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Fort Collins, Colorado 80522‑2087, USA

Institute Cantacuzino, Bucharest, Romania


Address for correspondence: Grant L. Campbell, M.D., Ph.D., Division of Vector‑Borne Infectious Diseases, CDC, P.O. Box 2087, Fort Collins, CO 80522‑2087; Voice: 970‑221‑6459; fax (970) 221‑6476.


Seroprevalence data suggest that West Nile virus activity in southern Romania dates to the 1960s or earlier. In the summer of 1996, southeastern Romania and especially Bucharest experienced an unprecedented epidemic of West Nile encephalitis/meningitis, with at least 393 hospitalized cases and 17 deaths. Contributing factors included a susceptible avian population and urban/suburban infrastructural conditions that favored the production of large numbers of Culex pipiens pipiens. The epidemic ended spontaneously in early autumn. Results of serosurveys conducted as the epidemic waned pointed to the recent, novel introduction of West Nile virus to Bucharest. During 1997‑2000, 39 scattered human cases of clinical West Nile virus infection (mean, 10 per year; range, 5‑14 per year)Cincluding 5 (13%) fatal casesCwere diagnosed serologically throughout the region, but epidemic disease did not recur. Results of limited ecologic surveillance efforts during 1997‑2000 suggested the existence of numerous focal areas of enzootic West Nile virus activity within the region. The authors explore the possible factors that led to the 1996 epidemic, review the ecologic and human data gathered during the postepidemic period of 1997‑2000, summarize the public health lessons offered by the epidemic and its aftermath, and speculate on the future of epidemic West Nile virus activity in southeastern Romania.


Key Words: West Nile virus $ West Nile fever $ flavivirus $ epidemiology $ Romania $ Culex pipiens $ encephalitis $ meningitis $ meningoencephalitis