A ‘culex perexiguus’ mosquito, transmitter of the West Nile virus. Europa Press
An 84-year-old woman from Arroyomolinos de Léon (Huelva) has become the first fatality from West Nile virus in Spain so far this year. Her deceased had previous pathologies, as reported by the Ministry of Health, and she had been hospitalized since August 11, when her infection was confirmed.
That of this Huelva neighbor is the only case that has been detected in humans. The Junta de Andalucía has confirmed this Friday that the presence of mosquitoes of the species Culex perexiguus —one of the species that transmit meningoencephalitis due to West Nile virus— has been detected in Barbate and Benalup-Casas Viejas (both in Cádiz). The Doñana Biological Station has also confirmed the existence of these insects in the Seville municipality of La Puebla del Río. The Animal Health Service, dependent on the Ministry of Agriculture, has reported a case of fever caused by the virus in Cazalla de la Sierra, also in Seville
The Generalitat Valenciana, for its part, has notified the first human case of West Nile virus infection. It concerns a 72-year-old woman, residing in Puçol (Valencia), who was discharged from hospital on August 9.
West Nile virus is asymptomatic in humans in 80% of cases, but there is a risk of causing encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain caused by a viral infection. Although the presence of the Culex perexiguus mosquito is endemic in Andalusia, the crisis suffered in 2020 was a turning point. At that time, 77 cases of meningitis were detected in the community, eight of them fatal. That year the Junta de Andalucía decided to implement an action strategy that includes, among other measures, a surveillance and prevention plan that is carried out every summer.
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