In Europe: Around 188 people infected with West Nile virus

published13. August 2022, 05:13

In EuropaAround 188 people infected with West Nile virus

Since the start of the transmission season, a total of 188 cases of human infection have been reported up to and including Wednesday.

Only about one in 100 infected people becomes seriously ill, and there is no vaccination. (archive image)


  • The West Nile Virus season is typically June through November.

  • This year, 188 people have already contracted the virus.

  • Birds, horses, but also humans fall ill with the virus.

Almost 200 people across the EU have been confirmed to have contracted the West Nile virus this year, according to the EU health agency ECDC’s weekly report on threats from communicable diseases. Italy (144) recorded by far the most of them, where there were also ten deaths. Other infections were registered in Greece (39), Austria (2), Romania (2) and Slovakia (1).

In addition, Serbia, which borders the EU, has recorded 34 infections and three deaths. According to the ECDC, the transmission season usually lasts from June to November.

According to ECDC information, human infections have not been registered in Germany so far this year. However, last month a nationwide first case for this year was detected in a snowy owl in the zoological garden in Magdeburg. According to the Friedrich Loeffler Institute (FLI), about a week after the chick died, a sibling from the same litter died of the virus.

Birds, horses and humans contract the virus

Birds, but also horses and humans, contract West Nile virus. In humans, the infection is mostly inconspicuous or mild. According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), around 20 percent of those infected developed a feverish illness that lasted three to six days.


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