Weekly updates: 2022 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.

Epidemiological summary

Since last week’s update, and as of 28 September 2022, European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) countries reported 77 human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection and 1 death related to WNV infections. Cases were reported by Italy (62), Germany (5), Romania (5), Croatia (2), Hungary (2) and Spain (1). Deaths were reported by Romania (1). EU-neighbouring countries reported 18 human cases of WNV infection and no deaths related to WNV infections. Cases were reported by Serbia (18).

This week, among the reporting countries, the following NUTS 3 or GAUL1 regions have reported human cases of WNV infection for the first time: Biella and Cagliari in Italy.

This week, among the reporting countries, the following NUTS 3 or GAUL1 regions have reported human cases of WNV infection for the first time since the start of this season: Berlin and Saalekreis in Germany, Zagrebacka županija in Croatia, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg in Hungary, Biella and Cagliari in Italy and Sibiu in Romania.

Since the beginning of the 2022 transmission season and as of 28 September 2022, EU/EEA countries have reported 851 human cases of WNV infection in Italy (536), Greece (231), Romania (43), Hungary (14), Germany (8), Croatia (8), Austria (6), Spain (4) and Slovakia (1). EU/EEA countries have reported 53 deaths in Italy (28), Greece (20) and Romania (5). EU-neighbouring countries have reported 187 human cases of WNV infection in Serbia (187) and 8 deaths in Serbia (8).

During the current transmission season, within the reporting countries, human cases of WNV infection were reported from 97 different NUTS 3 or GAUL 1 regions, of which the following regions reported human cases of WNV infection for the first time ever: Harz and Vogtlandkreis in Germany, Pistoia, Lucca, Monza e della Brianza, Biella and Cagliari in Italy, Brasov in Romania, Moravicki in Serbia and Tarragona in Spain.

Since the beginning of the 2022 transmission season, 62 outbreaks among equids and 238 outbreaks among birds have been reported by EU/EEA countries. Outbreaks among equids have been reported by Italy (36), Germany (9), Greece (4), Spain (4), Croatia (4), France (2), Hungary (2) and Austria (1). Outbreaks among birds have been reported by Italy (191), Germany (41), Spain (4), Austria (1) and Hungary (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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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