With the news cycle dominated by rolling, twenty-four hour coronavirus coverage in the last six months, you’d be forgiven if news of the West Nile virus in Spain had passed you by.
Although the National Epidemiology Centre registered only seven cases of the Nile virus in Spain over the last decade,52 cases have been recorded in humans in last month alone, clustering in Andalusia, with numbers now increasing and at least four deaths in the province of Sevilla so far.
But what is the Nile virus? What are the symptoms? How is it transmitted, and what can we do to protect ourselves and prevent the spread?
The West Nile Virus
The West Nile virus is a “Flavivirus” – a family of RNA viruses that includes the dengue virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, the yellow fever and Zika viruses – that have been around since the 1930’s.
First identified in Uganda, it is believed to have remained around the Nile delta area for decades but has now spread across the world. The virus’s ‘reservoir’ (the population of organisms or environment in which infectious pathogens live, reproduce and depend on for its survival) is thought to be birds, not mosquitoes, who instead behave as transmitters of the virus.
Source: The Local Spain
Original publication 11 September, 2020
Posted on NatCorn 23rd September 2020
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