Renewed push for West Nile human vaccine

Texas Congressional representatives are pushing for renewed efforts to develop a human vaccine against the West Nile virus.

U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, was among the 21 members of the U.S. House and Senate to sign letters written to Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Secretary of Health Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, asking that they make the vaccine’s development a public health priority.

They highlighted vaccine research capabilities at Texas A&M University in the letter.

Texas was the hardest hit in the summer’s outbreak, with more reported cases than any other state. In addition, the representatives reminded federal health officials that the state does has full-service health departments in just 61 of 254 counties.

In other words, the scope of the outbreak was likely underreported in Texas.