Cases of West Nile virus growing rapidly up 93 per cent in a week

Cases of West Nile virus are growing rapidly up 93 per cent in a week.

Cases of West Nile virus are growing rapidly up 93 per cent in a week. Image: frank60/

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has confirmed that cases of West Nile virus are growing rapidly in Italy.

Checks on the blood of donors in Friuli Venezia Giulia, the northeast Italian region bordering Austria, Slovenia and the Adriatic Sea, have revealed two more positive cases of West Nile virus, bringing the number of cases registered in the region to three: one in the Pordenone area and two in the Udine area.

The ECDC confirmed that: “In the week from 31 July to 6 August, 52 new infections were reported, marking a 93 per cent increase in infections compared to the previous week”.

The ECDC also confirmed that “the number of reported cases and deaths this year is higher than the average of previous years, although lower than the year relative to the epidemic peak in 2018”.

Most people with West Nile Virus (WNV) have no symptoms.

Some people develop mild flu-like symptoms, a skin rash and may feel sick.

The infection usually goes away on its own without treatment.

The virus is not contagious. You only get it from being bitten by an infected mosquito.

People aged over 50 or with another condition, such as cancer, diabetes or hypertension, are more at risk of getting seriously ill.

Signs of a severe infection can include flu-like symptoms and also:

  • muscle weakness
  • confusion
  • fits (seizures)

Severe WNV infections are treated in hospital. In rare cases, it can lead to meningitis and encephalitis.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.