HEALTH UPDATEAthens , 22-09-2022
West Nile virus: 19 deaths / 235 cases; How to protect yourself
From the beginning of the period until Tuesday, September 20th, the cases of West Nile virus in the country are counted at 235, with 19 of the patients having lost their lives.
In particular, from the beginning of the period until 20/09/2022, a total of 235 domestic cases of West Nile virus infection have been diagnosed in Greece, of which 152 presented manifestations from the Central Nervous System (encephalitis, meningitis, flaccid paralysis) and 83 had mild manifestations (e.g. febrile illness)/ no CNS manifestations.
During the last week, 39 new cases were diagnosed. There have been 19 deaths in patients with virus infection and CNS manifestations aged over 62 years. An additional death of a patient diagnosed with West Nile virus infection was attributed to other coexisting health problems.
Cases of West Nile virus infection have been recorded in Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Kilkis, Pella, Pieria, Imathia, Serres, Larissa, Trikala, Kavala, Fthiotida, Drama.
It is considered possible and expected that further cases will be diagnosed in the coming period (and in view of the awareness of health professionals).
The epidemiological surveillance of the disease, the timely implementation of appropriate integrated mosquito control programs and the adoption of personal protection measures against mosquitoes are the most appropriate measures to control the disease.
West Nile virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of infected "common" mosquitoes. The main reservoir of the virus in nature is mainly wild birds, from which mosquitoes are infected, while humans do not further transmit the virus to other mosquitoes. The majority of people infected with the virus are asymptomatic, about 20% show mild symptoms of viral complications and less than 1% show more severe manifestations from the central nervous system, mainly encephalitis, meningitis, acute flaccid paralysis.
More severe manifestations usually occur in older people, immunocompromised patients, and generally people with chronic underlying diseases. The epidemiological surveillance of the disease, the timely implementation of appropriate integrated mosquito control programs and the adoption of personal protection measures against mosquitoes are internationally the most important measures for the prevention of the disease.
Precaution instructions from EODY:
EODY recommends that individual protection measures against mosquitoes be observed, throughout the territory, throughout the period of circulation of mosquitoes:
- Use approved body and environmental insect repellents (according to the instructions for use), screens, mosquito nets, air conditioners/fans, suitable (long) clothing.
- Do not leave stagnant water anywhere (thus effectively helping to limit mosquito breeding grounds in private areas).
- Older people and people with chronic underlying diseases should take their measures with particular consistency.
(Photo: © Pixabay)