Scientists Undertake Development of a Japanese Encephalitis Virus Transmission Model

Farmscape for August 29, 2023

A new model being developed by Kansas State University and University of Georgia will help paint a picture of how Japanese encephalitis will spread if it enters the United States.
The potential for the transmission and spread of Japanese encephalitis virus in the U.S. is the focus of an investigation by researchers with the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for the Ecology of Infectious Diseases at the University of Georgia with funding from and in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, Foreign Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Unit.
Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says researchers will model the transmission dynamics of a JEV incursion.

Quote-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
Japanese encephalitis virus is called a flavivirus.
It's a first cousin, if you will, to West Nile virus.
West Nile virus entered the U.S. in 1999, we suspect from Israel with some infected mosquitos on a flight into New York.
It became established in new York and these mosquitos and West Nile virus spread across the U.S. in 20 years from one coast to the other.
What we are doing with this project is we are learning lessons both from the outbreak in Australia as well as our experience in the U.S. with West Nile virus and those other types of viruses that are mosquito born here.
The researchers will be modelling what we can expect as a transmission and spread of this virus should it get here.

Dr. Sundberg notes the U.S. represents an area favorable for the introduction of Japanese encephalitis.
He suggests, in order to understand how we can best respond to a JEV incursion, we have to understand what we can expect and this model is going to be an important part of developing response plans and helping control this virus should it get into the U.S.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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