West Nile Virus – Spain

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A man in Sevilla, Spain has been infected with West-Nile Virus and is hospitalized.

West-Nile virus is spread by Celuz pipiens and Celuz perexiguus, mosquitos which normally are not native to Southern Europe. Their spread is explained by the effects of climate change. There is no treatment available, the symptoms, i.e. meningitis, encephalitis and flaccid paralysis can be lethal.

This is the second case of West Nile Virus in Spain after a 73-year-old woman died a month prior, also in Sevilla. The man remains hospitalized

Female anopheles albimanus mosquito

Photo: Many types of mosquitoes are vectors for Jamestown Canyon virus.

West Nile virus has been the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the United States. No vaccines for humans exist to prevent, nor do specific medications to treat it exist.

West Nile virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, mostly species of Culex and related to Zika, dengue and yellow fever viruses.

In humans, West Nile virus can cause a disease known as West Nile fever. Approximately 80% of infected people have few or no symptom, while around 20% of people develop mild symptoms (such as fever, headache, vomiting, or a rash), and less than 1% of people develop severe symptoms (such as encephalitis or meningitis)

The virus was discovered in Uganda in 1937 and was first detected in North America in 1999. West Nile Virus has been reported in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and North America.

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