Possible early WNV activity; First CCHF case in León

Confirmation is pending on a possible case of West Nile fever that was detected in the province of Seville. There were concerns it may be a false positive - the individual in question had tests for meningitis symptoms that emerged after a COVID-19 illness. The ECDC notes that if this case is confirmed, it would be ‘a relatively early start of the WNV season ‘.

IN THE NW, health authorities in the province of Castile and León have reported a second case of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) this year. The woman, from El Bierzo, is thought to have had exposure to tick bites. Hers is the first CCHF case registered in the region of León. Read more

Advice for travellers

West Nile virus is endemic in Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, with epidemics regularly reported in summer and autumn since the 1950s. 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. Europe’s outbreaks are not as severe or widespread as in other regions where the virus occurs, notably North America. Read more on WNV.

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.