West Nile virus, cases double but everything is under control

West Nile virus, cases double but everything is under control

Experts reassure and the Higher Institute of Health provides the bulletin with the latest updates. So far there are 7 deaths out of 94 cases of West Nile virus infection. All the details

Another virus is circulating, for now in Northern Italy. It is West Nile or Nile fever that, according to experts, should not cause excessive concern, but the Higher Institute of Health (ISS) is monitoring it and says that in the last week the cases of infection "have more than doubled".

Source: Iss


In Italy, the epidemiological surveillance of West Nile is handled by the Department of Infectious Diseases of the ISS and by the Center for Exotic Diseases Studies (Cesme) of the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Abruzzo and Molise, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.

It is regulated by the National Arbovirus Prevention, Surveillance and Response Plan 2020-2025, which integrates a part relating to the surveillance of human cases and a part relating to veterinary surveillance.


Veterinary surveillance carried out on horses, mosquitoes, sedentary and wild birds, confirmed the circulation of the West Nile virus in Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Sardinia.

In particular, Cesme confirmed 4 clinical outbreaks in equidae in Veneto.

Source: Iss

The virus was also found in 15 birds belonging to target species – such as magpie, hooded crow and jay – in Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Piedmont and Veneto.

Source: Iss

10 wild birds in Veneto, Lombardy and Sardinia were also positive, as well as 100 mosquito pools caught in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Piedmont Emilia Romagna and Lombardy.

Source: Iss
Source: Iss

However, the virus has not been detected in any poultry farm.


From the first human case, reported in June in the province of Padua, today according to the latest ISS bulletin with data updated to August 2, 2022, the confirmed infections are 94, more than double the 42 reported last week.

Of the 94 total, 55 occurred in the neuro-invasive form (16 in Emilia Romagna, 33 in Veneto, 4 in Piedmont and 2 in Lombardy); 19 cases were identified in blood donors (3 in Lombardy, 11 in Veneto, 4 in Emilia Romagna, one in Piedmont); another 19 were the cases of fever (2 in Lombardy, 16 in Veneto, 1 in Emilia Romagna); and, finally, a symptomatic case (in Veneto).

Among the confirmed cases, 7 deaths were also reported: 5 in Veneto, 1 in Piedmont and 1 in Emilia Romagna.

Source: Iss


As of July 27, data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (Ecdc) report that in the countries of the European Union, in addition to Italy, 12 human cases have been reported in Greece and 1 in Slovakia. Another 16 cases were notified by Serbia.


The Usutu virus, first isolated in South Africa in 1959, bears some resemblance to West Nile and, although no human case has been reported, experts have identified it in 33 mosquito pools and 4 birds in Emilia Romagna, Lombardy. , Marche, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Umbria, Lazio and Veneto.

Source: Iss


It is true that this year the virus appeared a month earlier than usual and that there is no vaccine but the number of cases is "comparable to that recorded in other non-epidemic years and far from the values ​​recorded in 2018", he reassures Concetta Castilletti , coordinator of the Working Group on Emerging Viral Infections of the Italian Clinical Microbiologists Association (Amcli).

In 2018, says Dire , in Italy "42 deaths were observed in 244 autochthonous cases ascertained for almost all, except for one of the reports in Sardinia, in all the provinces of the Po Valley: Piedmont, Emilia, Lombardy, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia".

Professor Massimo Galli also resizes the situation by speaking with numbers: “Of course the West Nile is a dangerous virus but do not worry. Let's imagine we have an iceberg in front of us: at the top is the percentage of people who have a fatal infection, which is about 0.1% of total infections, if not less. More than 80% of infections in humans are asymptomatic, about 20% are represented by West Nile fevers, or infections that give a febrile symptomatology that lasts a few days, without complications. 1%, or a little less, of the total infections give rise to encephalitis, in which one in ten people goes to the other world ”.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/sanita/virus-west-nile-raddoppiano-i-casi-ma-e-tutto-sotto-controllo/ on Fri, 05 Aug 2022 14:13:35 +0000.