The West Nile Virus in Italy
West Nile, the mosquito virus arrived early for the heat
With the first case of the season recorded in the province of Padua, in the Veneto region, last June, the other cases were notified in Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna, Tuscany, Sardinia and Friuli Venezia Giulia. In particular, 27 cases occurred in the neuro-invasive form, 37 were identified in blood donors, 63 were cases of fever, and 3 were symptomatic. In the same period, 3 cases of Usutu virus were reported, a virus of avian origin that is transmitted by mosquitoes to humans, in as many blood donors.
Data in the world
Of the 13 deaths reported in Italy, 8 were registered in Veneto, 2 in Piedmont, 1 in Lombardy and 2 in Emilia-Romagna. In the EU states, as of 10 August, other cases of West Nile Virus have been reported. With Italy remaining in first place for infections (144), and deaths, 39 cases have been reported in Greece, 2 in Austria, 2 in Romania, and 1 in Slovakia. Currently, experts are also monitoring the animals, with veterinary surveillance focused on horses, mosquitoes, resident and wild birds. This surveillance, confirms the ISS, has made it possible to confirm the circulation of the new virus in the regions concerned. Positive tests are also underway in the provinces of Alessandria, Asti, Oristano and Cagliari.
What is West Nile Virus
West Nile fever is caused by a virus of the Flaviviridae family isolated for the first time in Uganda, in the district called West Nile, and spread to Africa, Western Asia, Europe, Australia and America. Most of the infected people – explains the website of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Iss) – do not show any symptoms. Of the symptomatic cases, about 20% have mild symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and rashes.