Weekly updates: 2021 West Nile virus transmission season

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This weekly report provides an overview of West Nile virus (WNV) epidemiology in the EU/EEA and EU-neighbouring countries during the WNV transmission season (expected to be June-November). Following a One Health approach, WNV infections in humans and outbreaks in equids and birds are included in the report. Visit the dedicated webpages for more information on WNV infections and ECDC’s seasonal WNV surveillance.

Situation update

Between 15 and 21 October 2021, European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries reported 2 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection and no deaths related to WNV infections. Cases were reported by Italy (2). EU-neighbouring countries reported no human cases of WNV infection in and no deaths related to WNV infections.

Since the beginning of the 2021 transmission season and as of 21 October 2021, EU/EEA countries have reported 135 human cases of WNV infection in Greece (55), Italy (54), Hungary (7), Romania (7), Spain (6), Austria (3) and Germany (3) and 9 deaths in Greece (7), Spain (1) and Romania (1). EU-neighbouring countries have reported 18 human cases of WNV infection in Serbia (18) and 3 deaths in Serbia (3).

During the current transmission season, within the reporting countries, human cases of WNV infection were reported from 45 different NUTS 3 or GAUL 1 regions, of which the following regions reported human cases of WNV infection for the first time: Spree-Neiße in Germany and La Spezia in Italy.

Since the beginning of the 2021 transmission season, 34 outbreaks among equids and 8 outbreaks among birds have been reported by EU/EEA countries. Outbreaks among equids have been reported by Germany (15), Spain (10), Portugal (4), Hungary (3), Greece (1) and France (1). Outbreaks among birds have been reported by Spain (7) and Slovenia (1).

Sources

Data on human cases are collected via The European Surveillance System (TESSy) managed by ECDC. Only locally acquired cases with known place of infection are included in this report. The following EU-neighbouring countries report human cases of WNV infection to ECDC: Albania, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

Animal data (i.e. outbreaks among equids and birds) are collected through the Animal Disease Information System (ADIS) of the European Commission. Reporting of WNV in equids and birds is mandatory at the EU/EEA level.

The distribution of human infections covers EU/EEA and EU-neighbouring countries, whereas outbreaks among equids and birds covers only EU/EEA countries.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence

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Data

West Nile virus in Europe in 2021 - human cases, updated 21 October 2021

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Data

West Nile virus in Europe in 2021 - outbreaks among equids and/or birds, updated 21 October 2021

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West Nile virus in Europe in 2021 - infections among humans and outbreaks among equids and/or birds, updated 21 October 2021

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West Nile virus in Europe in 2021 - human cases compared to previous seasons, updated 21 October 2021

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Case definition

EU case definition for diagnosing and reporting West Nile virus infection, under Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

See West Nile virus infection

ECDC publishes weekly WNV epidemiological updates during the WNV transmission season, including the geographical distribution of human cases in the EU/EEA and EU neighbouring countries. In addition, ECDC includes maps in its epidemiological updates highlighting areas where WNV outbreaks among equids have been reported. Read more