While mosquitoes and horses have been found to be infected with West Nile virus (WNV) in the Czech Republic, there had been no confirmed infections in humans – until this week. A senior health official confirmed the death of an elderly woman from WNV in the southern town of Breclav at the end of last week and, in a separate report, a man has been admitted to the same hospital for treatment of WNV infection. Read more. The 2018 WNV seasonhas been particularly bad across the region with a three-fold increase in cases. This week the death toll from complications of WNV infection rose to 15 in the NE Veneto region of Italy. Read more
Advice for travellers
Most human WNV infections (70-80%) are mild, subclinical or asymptomatic, but around 1-in-150 cases involve potentially severe neuroinvasive disease. The virus is transmitted by Culex mosquitoes, which feed mainly around dawn and dusk. While the risk of infection for most travellers is generally low, those visiting regions reporting human cases, particularly the peak transmission season, should take measures to avoid mosquito bites.
Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.