Epidemiological update: End of West Nile virus transmission season in Europe, 2013
Since the 5 June, ECDC has published on its website weekly updates on spatial distribution of West Nile fever cases in the European Union and neighbouring countries. Cases reported in the EU were autochthonous human WN fever cases (neuro-invasive and non neuro-invasive), meeting laboratory criteria as per EU case definition (Directive 2008/426/EC) and all reported cases outside the EU.
The first cases of West Nile fever (4 cases) were reported on 31 May 2013 by the office of epidemiology of the Astrakhanskaya oblast, in the Russian Federation. These cases occurred during the first decade of May, almost one month earlier than in 2010-2012.
As of 6 November 2013, 226 human cases of West Nile fever (including 150 neuro-invasive infections) have been reported in the EU; 16 cases in Croatia, 86 in Greece, 31 in Hungary, 69 in Italy and 24 in Romania. In neighbouring countries, 557 cases have been declared in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Israel and Tunisia.
In the EU, Greece has still been the most affected country with 86 cases. Nine areas reporting cases have been displayed on the map. Italy has reported more cases than in the previous years and 15 provinces were affected, including some of the most populated provinces in the north of the country and a newly infected province in the south. Hungary, Romania and Croatia have reported 31, 24 and 16 cases, respectively. In these countries, the respective capitals were affected.
In the neighbouring countries, most of the cases have been reported from Serbia where 302 cases have been detected in 18 districts, including the capital, Grad Beograd. A large number of cases have also been reported from the Russian Federation (177 cases in 11 oblasts and the Adygeya Republic) and from Israel (63 cases). In addition, sporadic cases have been reported from Bosnia and Herzegovina (3 cases), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1 case), Montenegro (4 cases), Tunisia (6 cases) and Ukraine (1 case).
Since 25 October, no recent cases have been reported. With the decrease of mosquito populations’ activity, the season of West Nile virus transmission to humans is now coming to an end in the EU and neighbouring countries. ECDC publishes its last weekly update of the WN fever maps on Friday 7 November closing its seasonal monitoring of West Nile virus transmission for 2013.
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