May 01, 2000

 

 APHIS appoints West Nile virus coordinator, funds surveillance

Posted Apr. 15, 2000

In its campaign against the West Nile encephalitis virus, the USDA-APHIS has appointed a full-time coordinator to work with federal, state, and local agencies combating the virus. The agency also allocated $375,000 for surveillance and diagnostic testing that would monitor virus activity.

This March APHIS announced that Dr. Randy Crom, a staff veterinarian with Veterinary Services' National Center for Import and Export Staff, would oversee APHIS' cooperative efforts regarding the West Nile virus.

Dr. Crom will work with the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Geological Survey, and others on several initiatives meant to contain and eliminate the West Nile virus.

Initiatives include identifying encephalitic infections in humans and horses, conducting public information campaigns for New York state agriculture officials and the agriculture industry, monitoring and controlling mosquito populations, and increasing diagnostic capabilities.