Currently, 21 cases of West Nile virus disease and 4 deaths have been confirmed in Romania, and doctors are sounding the alarm and asking people to protect themselves. This is in the context of an extremely warm September, which automatically means that there will be more mosquitoes, the main carriers of the virus.
The number of cases is likely to increase in the coming period
In most cases, infection with this virus is manifested by flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, joint or muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, food refusal, exhaustion). However, certain strains of West Nile are much more virulent, in which case the disease can progress to meningitis, encephalitis or meningo-encephalitis.
High temperatures and heat waves following heavy rains favor the occurrence of certain diseases, including West Nile neuroinfection, an infectious disease transmitted through mosquito bites, draw the attention of specialists.
The number of cases could increase in the context in which the month of September is also predicted to be extremely warm.
“There are some estimates related to average temperatures and precipitation. It is possible to have days with lower temperatures. We have those estimates until September 25.
The beginning of September looks like this: we will have temperatures between 25 and 31 degrees, and from September 3 the temperatures will rise to 34 degrees Celsius. We have slightly above average temperatures and more precipitation to the southeast. After September 15, the temperatures start to drop, but only for a few days. In September, we will have temperatures above the norm for the period”, the ANM service meteorologist told Playtech.ro
What we need to know about the W virusis Nile
- The main route of transmission to humans is through mosquito bites.
- The virus cannot be transmitted through physical contact (touching or kissing)!
- Transfusions can be a source of infection.
- Virtually anyone (regardless of age) bitten by mosquitoes is susceptible to West Nile virus infection, but the likelihood of a person becoming ill from a single bite is still low.
- 90% of those infected show no symptoms.
- Manifestations can be diverse: from those similar to a simple cold to signs of meningo-encephalitis.
- 1 in 150 people infected with West Nile virus develop severe symptoms of the disease.
- The risk of severe illness and death is greater for people over 50 or immunocompromised.
- Symptoms can persist for several weeks and the neurological effects can be permanent.
The West Nile virus also kills in countries such as Greece, the Netherlands, Portugal and Bulgaria. West Nile virus (VWN) belongs to the Flaviviridae family and is a member of the arthropod-borne flavovirus complex, which also includes Japanese encephalitis virus. West Nile virus (VWN) can infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, rodents, and other mammals, but transmission is only through mosquito bites. More than 110 species of birds can be infected with West Nile virus.
„Alarm signs requiring presentation to the emergency room: high fever accompanied by intense headache, vomiting, altered general condition, increased sensitivity to light appearing 2-8 days after the mosquito bite.
Hospitalization of the patient and treatment with intravenous medication is necessary. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus.
In the case of forms of medium severity (1 out of 5 cases) that develop with fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, urticaria, rarely lymphadenopathy), the patient’s condition improves after about 7-10 days”, says doctor Tudor Ciuhodaru.
In total, 21 cases of illness and 4 deaths were confirmed in Romania.
How do we protect ourselves from the virus? Advice from specialists
Doctors advise us that between sunset and sunrise is the period of maximum activity for most mosquito species. Avoid outdoor activities during this period or
- Avoid exposure to mosquitoes by wearing long-sleeved clothing and long pants;
- Use mosquito repellent chemicals;
- Use insecticides in/around the home;
- Prevent mosquitoes from entering the house (protective nets on the windows);
- Ensure the drainage of water puddles around the household;
- Remove containers of standing water and household waste.