Via Emerging Infectious Diseases: Ahead of Print -Correlation of West Nile Virus Incidence in Donated Blood with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease Rates, United States, 2010–2012. The abstract:
Over the past decade, West Nile virus (WNV) has spread across the United States. We aggregated blood donor data from 2010–2012 and then calculated the incidence of WNV RNA–positive donations and compared the incidence with neuroinvasive disease (NID) case data from the ArboNET surveillance system.
Of 10,107,853 donations, 640 were confirmed positive. The seasonal WNV incidence rate per 100,000 persons was 33.4 (95% CI 22–45) in 2010, 25.7 (95% CI 15–34) in 2011, and 119.9 (95% CI 98–141) in 2012. NID to blood donor ratios were 1 in 164 (95% CI 152–178) in 2010, 1 in 158 (95% CI 145–174) in 2011, and 1 in 131 (95% CI 127–136) in 2012. We updated estimates of the ratio of NID to WNV infection rates, demonstrating stable disease penetrance over the study period.
Blood donor WNV RNA screening is a valuable public health tool for WNV surveillance.