Arboviruses are groups of RNA viruses transmitted by arthropods, such as mosquitos or ticks. Although more than 130 arboviruses are known to cause human illness, most of public health importance belong to one of three virus genera: Flavivirus, Alphavirus and Bunyavirus.
Public health laboratories test for arboviruses that are endemic to the US, such as West Nile or Powassan virus, as well as those emerging in the US, such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. APHL works closely with CDC to share information and assure that laboratories are using the latest testing protocols.
West Nile Virus
First introduced to the US in 1999, West Nile Virus can now be found across the continental US. Many public health laboratories perform diagnostic testing for West Nile Virus as well as surveillance testing of mosquito pools and sentinel chickens to monitor for local transmission of the virus.
Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika Virus
Dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus have become public health concerns in the US as they have migrated to South America and the Caribbean. Though these viruses are predominantly seen in travelers returning to the US, some local transmission of dengue and chikungunya has occurred, and health authorities are monitoring the status of the Zika virus closely. Many public health laboratories maintain capability to test for one or more of these viruses. See APHL's
Emerging Infectious Disease Protocols (member laboratory access only) to learn more.