Pathogen: Dangerous West Nile virus discovered in mosquitoes in the Czech Republic
The spread of the West Nile virus in Europe was reported years ago. The dangerous pathogen in mosquitoes in the Czech Republic has now been proven. Experts therefore advise that you always ensure adequate mosquito protection.
Dangerous pathogen found
When the World Health Organization (WHO) recently published a list of diseases and pathogens that "pose a risk to public health and for which there are no or inadequate countermeasures", the website also indicated diseases that "detect." continue to pose major public health problems ”and need further research. One of these diseases is West Nile fever caused by the West Nile virus. This pathogen has now been discovered in mosquitoes in the Czech Republic.
Popular travel destination
The dangerous West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in southeastern Czechia. According to a report by the newspaper "MF Dnes", scientists identified the tropical virus in mosquitoes of the species Culex modestus.
As the news agency dpa reports, these insects populate the fish ponds in South Moravia. According to the information, the administrative region on the border with Austria is a popular destination for foreign bicycle and hiking tourists.
According to the agency, Oldrich Sebesta of the Health Department in Brno (Brno) said: "There is a risk of infection and everyone should think about insect protection."
The expert assumes that the pathogen was introduced by migrating birds from Africa and then ingested by mosquitoes during a blood meal.
Symptoms are similar to those of a flu-like infection
As the CRM Center for Travel Medicine explains on its website, the virus "is normally transmitted from birds to nocturnal mosquitoes again".
People can get infected by the bite of an infected mosquito. The symptoms resemble a flu-like infection.
According to experts, after the sting, some people experience fever, fatigue, vomiting, headache and muscle pain. Lymph node swellings sometimes appear later.
According to CRM, about a third of those affected develop a rash on the chest, back and arms that later heals without scaling. Inflammation of the brain or meninges can also occur.
“The disease can be fatal, especially in older people. The diagnosis is made using a specific antibody test or virus detection, ”write the experts.
No case of West Nile fever recorded this year
According to dpa, the last time in 1997 in the Czech Republic there was evidence of infections in humans after a long flood period.
There are also occasional infections in other European countries, for example there were several infections in Greece last year.
According to the information, no case of West Nile fever has been recorded by the European health authority ECDC this year.
Protect against mosquitoes
Health experts recommend preventive mosquito protection in affected regions.
In addition to special mosquito sprays, there are other options that can help against annoying mosquitoes.
So you can keep insects away from mosquito nets at home or in the tent and protect yourself from bites outdoors with bright, skin-covering clothing.
According to various studies, the bloodsuckers are attracted to bad odors such as sweat or smelly socks. So this should be avoided.
As a home remedy for mosquitoes, smells such as garlic or cabbage are among the options. (ad)