West Nile Virus spreads strengthened in Germany
The West Nile Virus has been detected in the last few years in Germany, where mosquitoes are considered the main vectors. In a recent epidemiological Bulletin of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) points out that a further spread of the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus in Germany was assumed. Apparently, the Virus could overwinter in Germany, reported to the RKI.
For the first time, it has been demonstrated in the past year in Germany, a mosquito-borne infection with the West Nile Virus (WNV) clearly. A total of five infections with the West Nile Virus were diagnosed up to the end of the year, which decreased probably due to a Transmission by mosquitoes, according to the German medical journal with reference to the Figures of the RKI. Obviously, the West Nile is a Virus capable to spend the winter in Germany.
Mosquitoes are the main vectors
The previously reported infections with the West Nile Virus were limited to the Federal States of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Berlin, but it is assumed that an increased spread of the Virus in the coming years. Because of originating in Africa pathogen is transmitted mainly by the widespread mosquitoes of the genus Culex, whose Population is strengthened by long summers and mild winters. A potential risk area could be, therefore, the heat-favoured regions on the upper Rhine, where increasingly strong mosquitoes occur in plagues.
Although the West Nile Virus from the mosquitoes is mainly transmitted between birds, but also mammals (such as horses) and humans can be infected through mosquito bites. Fortunately, the majority of infections (about 80 percent) are in people without symptoms and the other Affected in General, only mild nonspecific symptoms such as fever or skin rash are reported.
What are the symptoms of the West Nile Virus caused?
A very small proportion of Infected people (less than one percent ) suffers, however, serious complications in the Form of a brain skin inflammation (Meningitis) or an inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), which can in the worst case, fatal. In addition, the treatment options are very limited, since so far no effective drug therapies are available, and vaccines against the West Nile Virus are not yet available. To prevent infection, remains an appropriate mosquito repellent is not the only Option. (fp)