New viral infections of the nervous system have been appearing with great regularity. Some result from the evolution of new agents and others from the entry of viruses into new hosts or environments. The emergence of neurovirulent enteroviruses causing a paralytic poliomyelitis syndrome and rhomboencephalitis represent the evolution of new human viruses. Most emerging viral infections represent movement of an agent into new geographic areas or across species barriers. The transport of neurovirulent strains of West Nile virus into the Western Hemisphere and the penetration of Nipah virus, a newly recognized paramyxovirus, across species barriers from bat to pig to man are examples that are highlighted in this review. The burgeoning human population and the speed and frequency of travel favor the evolution, preservation, and spread of new viral agents.