West Nile virus infections in Germany

Last year theGermany reported human virus infections for the first time West Nile (WN ​​or West Nile virus) acquired locally. This year, 9 cases were again confirmed in the country in people who had not traveled. AT Leipzig, 7 cases were identified, including 6 in people presenting clinical manifestations (meningoencephalitis or meningitis) and one in an asymptomatic blood donor. Two other cases were diagnosed in blood donors, Meissen and to Berlin, who subsequently developed mild, non-specific symptoms. Other suspected cases in Saxe are being analyzed. Since only one in five infected people have clinical manifestations, it is likely that there are many asymptomatic infections that have not been diagnosed.

Reminders about the virus West Nile.

The virus West Nile is considered today as the flavivirus the most common after that of dengue.

The virus West Nile belongs to the family of Flaviviridae and kind flavivirus. It is migratory birds that play the role of virus reservoir animals. The virus is transmitted through the bite of mosquitoes of the genus Culex : After biting infected birds, female mosquitoes become competent to transmit the virus to humans during a blood meal.

In the majority of cases (80%), the virus infection West Nile is asymptomatic. Symptomatic forms of the disease are characterized by the sudden onset of a high fever after 3 to 6 days of incubation. This fever is accompanied by headache and back pain, muscle pain, cough, lymphadenopathy in the neck, and often a rash, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and respiratory symptoms.

Neurological complications (meningitis, encephalitis) occur in less than 1% of cases. More rarely still, other complications (hepatitis, pancreatitis or myocarditis) may appear. Generally, the patient recovers spontaneously, sometimes with sequelae. But viral infection can be fatal mainly in older adults.

To protect themselves, travelers are advised:

  • reduce the time spent outdoors during the mosquito’s active hours (between dusk and dawn);
  • wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves, pants and socks in areas where mosquitoes are present;
  • protect yourself from mosquito bites by using insect repellents containing DEET;
  • clean gutters and regularly empty birdbaths and other objects liable to collect water;
  • ensure that the rain barrels are covered with mosquito nets or that they are tightly sealed around the rainwater downpipe;
  • improve landscaping to prevent standing water around the house.

In accordance with the European Commission Directive 2014/110 / EU, donated blood should be deferred for 28 days after leaving a risk area for locally acquired infections, unless the results of an individual test (direct detection of the viral genome) are negative.

Source : Safetravel.

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