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California encephalitis virus
Virus classification
Group: Group V ((-)ssRNA)
Family: Bunyaviridae
Genus: Orthobunyavirus
Species: California encephalitis virus
California encephalitis virus
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 A83.5
ICD-9 062
MeSH D004670

California encephalitis virus causes encephalitis in humans.[1] Mosquitos serve as its vectors. For this reason this virus is known as an arbovirus (arthropod-borne virus).

California encephalitis virus belongs to the Bunyaviridae family of viruses, and the genus Bunyavirus. La Crosse Virus is the most important California encephalitis virus in the United States. Other related viruses include California encephalitis virus and Jamestown Canyon virus.



It was first discovered in 1943 in the California Central Valley region of the United States and is a rare cause of disease in the Western World.


Initial infection by the virus and primary viremia causes the onset of non-specific symptoms such as headache and fever. Secondary viremia and the multiplication of the virus in the CNS causes symptoms such as stiff neck, lethargy and seizures. It can also cause encephalitis, when inflammation of the brain produced by infection of the virus damages nerve cells, which affects signalling of the brain to the body.


The virus particle is enveloped and contains three nucleocapsids. The envelope conatins G1 glycoproteins and neutralising antibodies against these proteins block fusion of the virus with host cells and inhibit haemagglutination. The virus genome is over 12000 nucleotides in length and consists of three segments of various sized single-stranded RNA (negative sense and ambi-sense).


  1. ^ HAMMON WM, REEVES WC (November 1952). "California encephalitis virus, a newly described agent". Calif Med 77 (5): 303–9. PMID 13009479.  


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