‘West Nile? The situation in the next few years can only get worse ”: the interview with the expert

TREVISO – «It is of vital importance to raise awareness among citizens to protect especially the elderly and those with fragility. With climate change, the West Nile numbers could grow further in the coming years ”. Davide Gentili, referent of the local health authority of the Marca for arbovirosis, warns everyone. The only prevention against the Nile fever virus at the moment is to protect yourself from mosquitoes and try to reduce their numbers. There are no other ways.

Davide Gentili, there are already 9 municipalities involved between the presence of positive mosquitoes in the West Nile (Ponte di Piave and Codogné) and the reports of confirmed or probable infections.
«Having identified positive mosquitoes allows us to strengthen epidemiological surveillance in our territory, providing information to the population to reduce the probability of human cases. As regards those already notified, then, the measures to be taken were indicated and no clusters occurred. Moreover, thanks to the screening carried out in blood donors, asymptomatic cases are identified that otherwise would not be intercepted ».

Have the municipalities of Treviso carried out the necessary interventions against mosquitoes?
«They have presented the ordinary disinfestation program and regularly carry out the planned interventions. The Hygiene and Public Health service verifies the effectiveness of larvicidal treatments and communicates within 24 hours if further treatments are required. All the Municipalities have always adapted the interventions to the reports ».

77 positive mosquitoes were found in Codogné alone. Will there be any particular actions here?
«Adulticidal interventions are not foreseen. The finding of positivity in a pool of mosquitoes, in the absence of human cases, does not require extraordinary measures ».

Who are the people most at risk from West Nile infection?
«In our territory, no significant cases have been found among young people, such as to make hospitalization necessary. Severe manifestations occur mainly in people with risky conditions such as old age, immunosuppression or frailty conditions “.

How can you protect yourself?
“It is essential that every citizen is informed and adopts strategies to combat the vector (to mosquitoes, ed) even in private areas, using barrier means and adequate skin repellents”.

Have you detected any other tropical diseases in this period?
«A new case of Dengue imported from abroad has been identified thanks to the experience of the Infectious Diseases department. All the measures envisaged were promptly adopted, with an assessment in the field of the area involved. We have not had any other related cases and the situation is under control ».

Finally, as regards monkeypox, 6 infections have already been counted in the Marca.
“We have not received any further notifications. And so far, no hospital admissions have been needed. Cases and contacts were monitored daily, identifying all possible risk situations ».

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