ECDC releases new West Nile virus report

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control released a new report on Friday related to the number of West Nile fever cases reported in the European Union.

As of Thursday, the EU and the European Economic Area reported 235 human cases of West Nile virus. In countries neighboring the EU, 587 cases were reported, with Ukraine seeing its first 12 West Nile fever cases of the year.

In an update for the week ending November 7, Italy reported 28 confirmed cases of neuroinvasive West Nile virus and 17 less severe cases of West Nile virus over the course of the entire season.

On October 16, the Israeli Ministry of Health reported 62 patients infected with the West Nile virus in 66 communities. The ministry said that the number of cases was nearly double the number in 2011, when the country experienced 32 patients in 34 communities during the same time period.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that can cause flu-like symptoms or more severe symptoms such as meningitis or encephalitis. European outbreaks of West Nile virus occur erratically.

Because there is currently no treatment or vaccine for West Nile, the best way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites.