First Ever Human Case Of West Nile Fever Confirmed In Valencian Community Patient

Image of a mosquito on a person's skin.

Image of a mosquito on a person's skin. Credit - Frank60 /

A case of West Nile Fever was confirmed in a 72-year-old resident of the Valencian municipality of Puçol this Thursday, August 24.

Also known as West Nile virus, the Ministry of Health in the Valencian Community received official notification today from Madrid’s National Centre for Microbiology, according to

The Ministry informed Europa Press that the woman was admitted to a hospital on August 9 displaying certain symptoms. She subsequently had a favourable prognosis and was discharged.

However, after the Ministry of Agriculture later declared a case of West Nile virus in a horse in the Community, suspicions were aroused that the previous patient had possibly presented symptoms of that pathology which had been overlooked.

The discovery of this first human case of the virus came as a consequence of the epidemiological and entomological checks and tests carried out within the microbiology analyses of the Valencian Community’s Vector Program.

Following the detection of West Nile virus in the horse, surveillance and entomological control actions on mosquitoes were initiated on July 24.

Surveillance was carried out by the General Directorate of Public Health

These checks, carried out by the General Directorate of Public Health in the vicinity of the woman’s home in the municipality of Puçol, located possible larval foci.

As a result, larvicidal treatment was applied while traps installed in the region quickly identified possible origins and shelters for adult mosquitoes.

During the course of these entomological checks, the presence of the transmitting mosquito (C. pipiens) was not detected. Similarly, analysis carried out by RT-qPCR to detect the circulation of the virus in populations of mosquitoes of the Culex genus returned negative results.

In accordance with the Surveillance Program of the Generalitat, the Ministry of Health explained that all the local authorities and neighbouring municipalities were kept informed ‘at all times’ of the measures being adopted in this ‘reinforcement’ of vector surveillance and control measures.

West Nile virus is not normally transmitted between humans

West Nile Virus is an infectious disease transmitted by mosquito bites that is not normally transmitted between humans. In 80 per cent of cases, it is asymptomatic or mild and only one per cent of cases present neuroinvasive disease.

The Ministry indicated the need for the population to maintain preventive measures to avoid mosquito bites in the hours of greatest activity – close to dawn and after sunset – of the species that transmit this disease. People with compromised immunity were significantly more prone to the chance of transmission they pointed out.

Registered repellents are recommended for topical use along with light clothing that covers most of the skin. The use of mosquito nets is a good way to combat these insects while going near stagnant water or anywhere that environmental repellents are used should be avoided.

The ECDC reported 36 cases and three deaths in the EU and EEA

In the latest update from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), it was revealed that a total of 36 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) and three deaths had been reported in the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA), as of August 16, 2023.

Cases were reported by Greece (26), France (4), Germany (2), Hungary (2), Spain (1) and Romania (1). Deaths were reported by Greece (2) and Romania (1). EU-neighbouring countries reported 15 human cases of WNV infection. These were in Serbia (14) and North Macedonia (1), with no deaths related to WNV infections reported.

Among the reporting countries, the following NUTS 3 regions have reported autochthonous human cases of WNV infection for the first time: Huelva in Spain and Charente-Maritime in France.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at