The U.S. is on track for its worst outbreak of West Nile virus in history, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The 1,118 reported cases in humans is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in August since it was first detected in the U.S. in 1999. The disease has been found in people, birds or mosquitoes in 47 states, including California, according to CDC.

College of Veterinary Medicine Professor Tracey McNamara, DVM, DACVP, played a pivotal role in tracking and identifying West Nile virus in New York in 1999. She specializes in the recognition and understanding of the disease of captive and free-ranging wildlife. Her training led her to pursue a link between viral encephalitis in birds and humans during the summer of 1999 while serving as the head of the Department of Pathology for the Wildlife Conservation Society, headquartered at the Bronx Zoo.

Dr. McNamara is available to serve as an expert source for your West Nile virus coverage. Please contact the WesternU Office of Public Affairs to arrange an interview: Rodney Tanaka, 909-469-5402, or Jeff Keating, 909-469-5205.