A group of islands in Melanesia constituting a French overseas territory. The group includes New Caledonia (the main island), Ile des Pins, Loyalty Island, and several other islet groups. The capital is Noumea. It was discovered by Captain Cook in 1774 and visited by various navigators, explorers, and traders from 1792 to 1840. Occupied by the French in 1853, it was set up as a penal colony 1864-94. In 1946 it was made a French overseas territory. It was named by Captain Cook with the 5th and 6th century A.D. Latin name for Scotland, Caledonia. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p830 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p375)
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West Nile virus
A species of FLAVIVIRUS, one of the Japanese encephalitis virus group (ENCEPHALITIS VIRUSES, JAPANESE). It can infect birds and mammals. In humans, it is seen most frequently in Africa, Asia, and Europe presenting as a silent infection or undifferentiated fever (WEST NILE FEVER). The virus appeared in North America for the first time in 1999. It is transmitted mainly by CULEX spp mosquitoes which feed primarily on birds, but it can also be carried by the Asian Tiger mosquito, AEDES albopictus, which feeds mainly on mammals.