EU reports first 2014 West Nile virus case

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) announced on Friday that the first case of West Nile fever of the 2014 transmission season was reported in the European Union last week.

The case was confirmed in an elderly resident of the East Attica region of Greece by the Greek Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The resident has no recent travel history.

The ECDC provides weekly updates of case numbers and maps every Friday.

Although the Greek case of West Nile was the first in the EU this year, cases have been reported in neighboring countries. Israel recently reported two cases that occurred in July. Russia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina also reported 25 probably and confirmed cases in recent weeks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already confirmed dozens of West Nile cases in the U.S. this year. More than 15 states reported cases of West Nile, including California, New York and Texas.

The CDC advises that the most effective way to avoid West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Residents should use insect repellent when going outdoors and wear long sleeves, pants and socks while outside.

Emptying standing water around the home also helps to prevent mosquito breeding.