West Nile fever: significant increase in cases


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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New data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows the number of West Nile Virus (WNV) infections reported in European countries so far this year exceeds the total number of infections in the previous five years. 

A total of 1,505 confirmed and probable locally-acquired human WNV infections were reported by European countries up to 20 September 2018. By comparison, in 2017, a total of 207 cases were reported for the year. 

European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) Member States reported 1,135 human cases in Italy, Greece, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, France, Austria, Bulgaria and Slovenia. EU neighbouring countries reported 370 human cases in Serbia, Israel and Kosovo. To date, 115 deaths due to WNV infection have been reported by Italy, Serbia, Romania, Greece, Hungary and Kosovo.  

The ECDC says the case fatality ratio (CFR) in 2018 has not exceeded the CFR in the previous two years (7.6% in 2018 compared with 11.1% in both 2016 and 2017), while the proportion of cases of WNV neuroinvasive disease among symptomatic cases is lower than the previous two years (70% in 2018 compared with 82% in 2017 and 86% in 2016).

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