News FocusInfectious Disease

Siberia's Deadly Stalker Emerges From the Shadows

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Science  26 Apr 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5568, pp. 642-645
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5568.642

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VILIUISK, RUSSIA-- After numerous false leads and prime suspects that later proved to be innocent, scientists may have at last cornered their quarry in a half-century-long hunt for the cause of a fatal neurological disorder in eastern Russia called Viliuisk encephalomyelitis. This obscure malady, known locally as bokhoror, or "the stiffness," is one of medical science's most enduring puzzles. With the disease spreading, unmasking the villain is more urgent than ever.