West Nile Vaccine

West Nile Virus
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Federal officials report progress toward vaccination and treatment for West Nile virus.

Doctor Anthony Fauci says one promising prevention technique grafts West Nile viral protein into a yellow fever vaccine. He hopes for a vaccine in about three years. The chief of infectious diseases at the National Institutes of Health also says several drugs show promise for treating the disease.

Fauci spoke at a congressional hearing.

Also at the hearing, a top Food and Drug Administration official said a test to spot the virus in donated blood could be available by next summer. But Doctor Jesse Goodman says it might only be ready then in pilot tests.

The disease mostly is spread by mosquitoes. Another official told the hearing the virus is here to stay. Doctor Julie Gerberding of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the disease may be worse in some years than in others.