Epidemiology of the Arthropod-Borne Viral Encephalitides in Kern County, California 1943–1952

by W. C. Reeves and W. McD. Hammon, in collaboration with W. A. Longshore, Jr., H. E. McClure, and A. F. Geib. University of California Publications in Public Health, vol. 4. viii + 257 pages, illustrated, paper back. University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles. 1962. $6.00

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  • College of Medicine Baylor University, Houston, Texas

Epidemiology of the Arthropod-borne Viral Encephalitides in Kern County, California 1943–1952 presents data obtained in studies designed to demonstrate the presence, and to determine the reservoirs and vectors, of the viruses that cause western equine encephalitis (WEE) and St. Louis encephalitis (SLE).

The most important reservoirs for the viruses were wild and domestic fowls, as determined by virus isolations and antibody studies (neutralization and complement-fixation). The mosquito, Culex tarsalis, was the principal vector. Overwintering was accomplished both in the (female) vector and in the reservoir. Studies revealed that cattle, horses and small wild animals developed antibodies against the viruses upon exposure, but were not relatively important in the life cycle of the viruses.

Incidence of these virus diseases in human beings varied considerably in this 10-year study, but some trends could be well-defined.