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Recent Outbreaks

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West Nile Virus

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Learn more about West Nile virus prevention. Here are three ways you can reduce your risk:

  • Avoid Mosquito Bites
  • Mosquito-Proof Your Home
  • Help Your Community

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

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These webpages provide background information about avian influenza, including recent outbreaks, the viruses, and the risk to human health.

Avain Flu Pandemic—Are We Prepared? by Dr. Feldman | Download PDF

Pandemic Influenza Fact Sheet | Download PDF

Preparing for Pandemic Influenza | Download PDF

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

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Information for specific groups and settings.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (Mad Cow Disease)

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Since 1996, evidence has been increasing for a causal relationship between ongoing outbreaks in Europe of a disease in cattle, called bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow disease"), and a disease in humans, called variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). Both disorders are invariably fatal brain diseases with unusually long incubation periods measured in years, and are caused by an unconventional transmissible agent.

On December 23, 2003, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a presumptive diagnosis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow" disease) in an adult Holstein cow from Washington State. The diagnosis was confirmed by an international reference laboratory in Weybridge, England, on December 25. Preliminary trace-back based on an ear-tag identification number suggests that the BSE-infected cow was imported into the United States from Canada in August 2001.

Monkey Pox

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Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that occurs mostly in central and western Africa. It is called “monkeypox” because it was first found in 1958 in laboratory monkeys. Blood tests of animals in Africa later found that other types of animals probably had monkeypox. Scientists also recovered the virus that causes monkeypox from an African squirrel. These types of squirrels might be the common host for the disease. Rats, mice, and rabbits can get monkeypox, too. Monkeypox was reported in humans for the first time in 1970.

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