24 Aug, 2023 @ 18:30
1 min read

First-ever case of deadly West Nile virus spread by mosquito bites reported in Spain’s Valencia region

First-ever case of deadly West Nile virus caused by mosquito bite reported in Spain's Valencia region
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THE FIRST-EVER case of the deadly West Nile disease has been reported by the Ministry of Health in the Valencian Community.

It involved a 72-year-old woman from Pucol who was treated for several days before being discharged from hospital on August 9.

Spain’s worst WNV outbreak was in the Sevilla area in 2020 when eight people died.

WNV is caused by mosquito bites and shows no symptoms.

Some people might develop flu-like symptoms, a skin rash, or may feel sick.

The infection normally goes away without any treatment and is not contagious as it can only be transferred via a mosquito bite.

People aged over 50 are more vulnerable especially if they have conditions like cancer and diabetes, and could face being seriously ill if they have WNV.

Like in the Pucol case, more severe cases are treated in hospital, and in rare instances can lead to meningitis and encephalitis.

Investigations revealed that it was a WNV infection after a horse in Pucol was confirmed as having the virus on July 24.

The Public Health department analysed mosquito larvae in special traps around the municipality but they tested negative for WNV.

Health measures have been reinforced around the area.

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Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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