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The Netherlands Records First-Ever West Nile Virus Infection

October 15, 2020, 06.10 PM

AMSTERDAM, – The Netherlands recorded its first-ever West Nile virus case that originated from the country, according to Dutch health authorities on Thursday.

The Dutch patient is a man who had not been abroad recently, but managed to have transmitted the West Nile virus, the National Institute for Public Health said.

Health authorities in the Netherlands made the discovery of the patient's case last week.

Read also: Spanish City of Seville Reports Confirmed Cases of Nile Fever

Transmitted mainly through mosquito bites, the virus can lead to a fatal neurological disease, although around 80 percent of those infected never develop symptoms, according to the World Health Organization.

The patient is thought to have contracted the virus in the central Dutch region of Utrecht, where birds and mosquitoes carrying the virus had been found in August and September.

The health authorities said the current risk of an infection in the Netherlands was minimal as the mosquito season was coming to an end.

Read also: The Netherlands Rethinks Coronavirus Guidelines on Face Masks as Cases Rise

They said they would offer advice and propose further steps before the next season begins next year.

There is no vaccine for the virus in humans although one exists for horses. Originally from Africa, the virus has spread in Europe, Asia and North America.

It is not the first time that the West Nile virus was detected in the Netherlands as Dutch people have been found to carry the virus before, but they were always infected abroad, the health authorities said.

(Writer: Bart Meijer | Editor: Tomasz Janowski)


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