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Higher number of West Nile virus infections in Europe this year compared to previous years

We advise the use of mosquito-repellent measures starting at sunset when staying in an area where the virus is circulating.

30-08-18

Image 1/1 : Doctor examining patient.

West Nile virus is commonly found in Africa, the Middle East, West-Asia, North America, but also in Central and Southern Europe, where it causes infections between June and November every year. This year a higher number of infections than in previous years is seen. Within the EU, infections in 2018 have so far been reported in Italy, Greece, Hungary, Romania, France and Croatia.

West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. Infection does not usually cause any sickness. However, mild and transient flu-like symptoms sometimes occur. In rare cases, infection can be serious and affect the brain or meninges. This is more common in older people or people with a weak immune system.

We advise the use of mosquito-repellent measures starting at sunset when staying in an area where the virus is circulating.

A weekly update of the current transmission season and affected regions is available on the site of 'European Center for Disease Prevention and Control'.

Because the virus can also be transmitted through blood transfusions, you are not allowed to donate blood until four weeks have passed after your return from an affected region.

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