Catalonia: first case of Nile virus detected in humans, health authorities give the alert

In 1% of cases, infection with West Nile virus can cause the death of the patient.

A first positive case of human infection to west nile virus was confirmed in Cataloniaby the city of Reus, northeast of Barcelona, ​​in the province of Tarragona, the city said in a statement. It was the epidemiological surveillance service of the Ministry of Health of the Government of Catalonia which informed the city on Thursday of two positive cases. It’s a couple, a 90 year old man and an 85-year-old woman, who were admitted to Sant Joan Hospital on August 31 for a neurological condition.

Although the man is a confirmed case, his wife is only a probable case at this time. Still in hospital, the couple is in a favorable situation, said the Ministry of Health. An information, surveillance, prevention and treatment plan has been launched by the city of Reus, in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the Secretariat for Public Health.

What symptoms?

Most cases of West Nile virus infection are mild. Indeed, 80% of infected people do not show any symptoms. But experts believe that less than 1% of severe cases may die from it. The virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, can cause meningoencephalitis, a disease that affects the central nervous system. Symptoms in these more severe cases are severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, vomiting, and neurological symptoms such as confusion, disorientation and, in more extreme cases, seizures, loss of strength and even coma.

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