West Nile fever virus claims four more lives in Serbia

West Nile fever virus claims four more lives in Serbia

Four more citizens of Serbia have died of West Nile fever in the last seven days, according to the Institute of Public Health of Serbia, “Dr Milan Jovanovic Batut”.

This year 286 people have been infected by the West Nile fever virus in Serbia; 29 persons in total have died. Although the cases have been reported throughout Serbia, most incidents have been registered in Belgrade (141).

West Nile fever is a viral infection typically spread by mosquitoes. In approximately 75% of the infections people have few or no symptoms. Some 20% of those infected develop a fever, headache, vomiting, or a rash. In less than 1%, encephalitis or meningitis occurs, with associated neck stiffness, confusion, or seizures.

In the European Union member states, 798 infection cases have been registered in 2018, with largest numbers in Italy (327), Greece (168) and Hungary (134); in total, 44 people died – 18 in Greece 13 in Italy and 12 in Romania.

In Serbia, West Nile fever was first time registered in 2012. Since then, 574 people have been infected and 61 have died.

Epidemiologist Zoran Radovanovic recently emphasized that Serbia has become “European champion” in the number of people infected by the West Nile virus. In his comment published in Danas daily, Radovanovic suggested that patients should be hospitalized in a specialized clinic rather than in regular hospitals.

“You don’t have to be doctor Kildare or doctor House to assume that their chances of survival would be worse (in regular hospitals) than under the continuous surveillance at the intensive care”, Radovanovic concluded./IBNA