West Nile in Italy, 133 cases and 6 deaths

Iss: deaths double from 3 last week

They rise to 133 cases of West Nile in humans in Italy since the beginning of May (there were 94 in the previous bulletin of 17 August) e deaths double, rising to 6 (2 in Piedmont, 3 in Lombardy and 1 in Emilia-Romagna) against 3 last week. This is what we read in the bulletin of the Higher Institute of Health, updated to 23 August. This brings the number of provinces with proven circulation of West Nile belonging to 9 regions to 43: Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna, Puglia, Sicily and Sardinia.


The incubation period from the moment of the bite of the infected mosquito, informs the ISS, varies between 2 and 14 days, but can also be 21 days in subjects with deficits in the immune system. Most infected people show no symptoms. Among symptomatic cases, about 20% have mild symptoms: fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes, skin rashes. These symptoms can last a few days, in rare cases a few weeks, and can vary greatly depending on the person’s age. In children, a slight fever is more frequent, in young people the symptomatology is characterized by a moderately high fever, redness of the eyes, headache and muscle pain. In the elderly and in debilitated people, however, the symptoms can be more serious. The most serious symptoms, writes the ISS, occur on average in less than 1% of infected people (1 person in 150), and include high fever, severe headaches, muscle weakness, disorientation, tremors, vision problems , numbness, convulsions, up to paralysis and coma. Some neurological effects may be permanent. In the most severe cases (about 1 in a thousand) the virus can cause lethal encephalitis. The incubation period from the moment of the bite of the infected mosquito varies between 2 and 14 days, but can be as long as 21 days in subjects with deficits in the immune system.


Out of the total of 133 cases, 74 occurred in the neuro-invasive form (13 in Piedmont, 20 in Lombardy, 10 in Veneto, 26 in Emilia-Romagna, 2 in Puglia, 1 in Sicily, 1 in Sardinia) 1 case imported from Hungary, 36 cases identified in blood donors (6 in Piedmont, 23 in Lombardy, 1 in Veneto, 6 in Emilia-Romagna), 23 cases of fever (5 in Piedmont, 8 in Lombardy, 8 in Veneto, 2 in Emilia-Romagna Romagna). Veterinary surveillance carried out on horses, mosquitoes, sedentary and wild birds confirmed the circulation of WNV Lineage 2 in Emilia Romagna, Lombardy, Sardinia, Piedmont and Puglia, while WNV Lineage 1 was confirmed in Sicily and Veneto. In the same period, 2 cases of Usutu virus were reported in Piedmont (1 in Novara, 1 in Cuneo).