1. Ability of stealth viral cultures to identify patients from the Mohave Valley.
As noted in the publication, "Stealth virus epidemic in the Mohave Valley" (Martin, WJ and Anderson D. Pathobiology 65: 51-56, 1997), blood samples from Mohave Valley patients induce a cytopathic effect (CPE) in cultures that, "Although, generally similar to the CPE described for other stealth viruses" did have distinguishing features. The ability to identify patients from the Mohave Valley was confirmed in a double blind study. Blood samples from 18 of 19 patients from the Mohave Valley were correctly identified as showing the "Mohave CPE." Only 1 of 7 control samples from hospitalized patients from Los Angeles, was incorrectly identified as showing a "Mohave CPE".
2. Mohave CPE identified in patients residing in the other regions of Southern California and Western Arizona.
Several blood samples submitted by Dr. Ronald Kundargi, an infectious disease specialist from Victorville, show the Mohave CPE. Victorville is situated near the outskirts of Los Angeles. The most recent blood sample from Dr. Kundargi came from a patient in Chino, a city within the greater Los Angeles residential area. Positive cultures have also been obtained from Las Vegas, Palm Springs and several cities in Western Arizona.
3. Clinical illnesses among Mohave stealth viral infected patients.
Clinical information is being compiled on the culture-positive Mohave patients. As noted in other stealth-virus-positive patients, there is a wide range of manifestations including chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression in adults and attention deficit and learning disorders in children. Several patients with an encephalitis-like illness have been admitted to the Needles Community hospital. Other patients have been hospitalized for psychiatric illness.
4. Occurrence of illness among family members and in household pets.
As noted in the initial publication, it is not uncommon to see illness within several members of the same family. Babies born to infected mothers have shown atypical illnesses but have yet to be tested by viral culture. Reports have continued to be received of unexplained neurological illness in household pets.
5. Planned studies
It is hoped soon to have sequence data on the Mohave stealth virus and to establish an antibody- and molecular probed-based detection assays. A prevalence study is to be conducted among patients from the Mohave Valley and surrounding regions.