TopicEverything you need to know about the Nile virus

  • Tue 23rd Feb 2021 - 10:30am

    Everything you need to know about the Nile virus

    The Nile virus outbreak in Seville has claimed the first two fatalities. This outbreak already affects 38 people from Coria del Río and La Puebla del Río, of which 27 are hospitalized, seven of them in the ICU, according to the latest data provided by the Andalusian Ministry of Health.

    West Nile Virus is an infectious disease, which can cause serious complications and lead to meningoencephalitis. We tell you everything you need to know about this virus, its symptoms, treatment and prevention.

    How is the Nile virus transmitted?

    The Nile virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, the 'Aedes japonicus', which already carries the virus, because it has previously bitten an infected bird

    The mosquitoes that carry the virus are a very common type of mosquito in Spain, and can infect humans, horses and other mammals. However, it is not transmitted from human to human through social contact, although there have been cases of infection from blood transfusions, organ transplants, breastfeeding or transmission from mother to child during pregnancy.

    What are your symptoms?

    According to the World Health Organization (WHO) , 80% of infected people have no symptoms.

    People over the age of 60 or with previous illnesses are more likely to develop a serious illness. The incubation period of the disease lasts between 3 and 14 days.

    In the remaining 20% ​​of the population, it causes what is known as West Nile fever. The symptoms are usually mild and are similar to those of the flu:

    • Fatigue
    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Sickness
    • Vomiting
    • Back pain and muscles
    • Appearance of skin rashes
    • Enlarged lymph nodes

    However, in some cases, the virus can affect the brain and cause meningoencephalitis, a serious illness that requires immediate medical attention. These are its symptoms:

    • Sudden high fever
    • Severe headaches
    • Stiff neck
    • Disorientation or confusion
    • Tremors or muscle spasms
    • Convulsions
    • Eat
    • Muscle weakness or partial paralysis

    Do you have treatment?

    There is currently no vaccine to prevent Nile virus infection in people or specific treatments. Critically ill patients are provided with special measures such as hospitalization, intravenous fluids, pain medication, respiratory support, and prevention of other infections.

    How the Nile virus can be prevented

    To prevent infection, avoid mosquito bites and areas where outbreaks have been detected.

    The main recommendations to prevent insect bites are:

    • Use mosquito nets on windows and doors.
    • Try not to stay outdoors between dusk and dawn.
    • Try to leave the light off.
    • Follow adequate body hygiene daily.
    • Avoid strong perfumes.
    • Eliminate standing water that may be around the house.
    • Wear clothing that covers the skin as much as possible and shake it before use, if it has been laid outside.
    • Make proper use of mosquito repellants, strictly following the recommendations on the mode and frequency of use described by the manufacturer. If you apply sun cream, you should first allow it to absorb for twenty minutes and then apply the repellent.

     If you detect any of the symptoms described above, see your doctor as soon as possible.

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