PADUA – Five more confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Padua in the past 24 hours. The balance of the epidemic outbreak of the so-called “Nile fever” continues to rise, which now reaches 45 positivity recorded by the Ulss 6 Prevention Department from the end of June to today. Among these, there are 24 neuroinvasive forms and encephalitis. Three victims so far. Yesterday, four new patients were reported, all elderly, respectively: 71 years, 74 years, 84 years and 87 years. Three of these are assisted in the Neurology department of the Schiavonia hospital, with mild encephalitis and impaired nervous system. The fourth Paduan is hospitalized at the San Bortolo hospital in Vicenza. In addition to these, another West Nile case was identified yesterday in a blood donor. The positivity emerged during the routine checks carried out on blood samples during this period.
Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, sand flies and ticks
Thus grows the alarm linked to arbovirus – a group of viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, sand flies and ticks – increasingly widespread in the province of Padua, also due to drought and climatic conditions. “The virus was first isolated in 1937 in Uganda from the blood of a woman with feverish symptoms, from the West Nile district – says Dr. Valerius Valerianof Ulss Prevention Department – hence, the name West Nile disease. The virus is maintained in nature by a primary mosquito-bird-mosquito transmission cycle. It means that mosquitoes become infected by biting birds (amplifier hosts or reservoirs). The West Nile virus, once ingested, is able to spread in the mosquito’s body, where it multiplies by localizing in the salivary glands and then being transmitted to another bird. Drought favors this cycle, because the water basins are few and stagnant. That’s where both mosquitoes and birds are concentrated ». But it doesn’t stop there. “The secondary cycle occurs when adult mosquitoes transmit the virus to humans and horses, which then enter the transmission cycle and are affected by the infection”, explains Dr. Valeriano. According to the expert, the size of the infection is underestimated. “The Covid pandemic has reset health care – he comments – today those who find a bit of fever, pain and exhaustion the first thing they think is Covid. Maybe you go for a swab, see it’s negative, breathe a sigh of relief, and take an antipyretic. Many cases of positivity from West Nile virus are screened and do not emerge, because there are no important symptoms ». There is no specific therapy for West Nile fever. In most cases, the symptoms go away on their own after a few days or can last for a few weeks. In the most serious cases, hospitalization is required.