Europe is experiencing an unprecedented wave of West Nile fever this summer. Approximately 800 cases were registered in the EU and more than 70 people died in Europe.
Solna / Athens – Health authorities have registered almost 800 cases of West Nile Fever this year among people in the European Union. At least 71 deaths have been reported in Europe by Thursday, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said Friday on its website. For example, the virus disease killed 26 people in Serbia, 13 in Italy, 12 in Romania and one in Hungary and Kosovo. 18 were killed for Greece, while the Greek Ministry of Health said Friday 21 deaths.
The virus is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes. It mainly attacks birds, but can also infect horses and humans. At the end of August, the pathogen was found in Germany for the first time – in a gray-haired owl that had died in Halle Zoo. In Germany, all affected people are infected abroad.
The actual number of infected people should be well above the official figures
According to the ECDC, the largest number of infections in the EU has so far been reported in Italy with 327 cases. Up to now, 16 cases have been reported in France, in Austria 10. In a total of five regions in France and Croatia, infections of people with the West Nile virus were first published this year.
In Greece, the cases mainly concern the Peloponnese peninsula and the rural areas around Athens, as well as the area around the port of Thessaloniki. The actual number of infected individuals must be far above the official figures, both in Greece and elsewhere in Europe, as most patients have no or rather harmless symptoms, such as headaches and body aches.