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West Nile virus in Europe: update 2

09 October 2023

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reports continuing transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) in European countries.

Since the beginning of 2023 to 4 October 2023, cases have been reported from: Italy (295 cases, including 18 deaths), Greece (153 cases, including 47 deaths), Serbia (84 cases), Romania (68 cases including 9 deaths), France (33 cases), Hungary (28 cases), Spain (11 cases including 1 death), Croatia (6 cases), Germany (4 cases), North Macedonia (1 case) and Cyprus (1 case).

West Nile virus is spread by mosquito bites and can cause a flu-like illness, sometimes leading to severe or life-threatening disease.

Advice for Travellers

Travellers to affected areas should be advised to:

  • practice mosquito bite avoidance measures at all times, especially at dusk and dawn during peak transmission times and when outbreaks are known to be occurring
  • seek medical advice if they develop a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms with fever following travel to a risk area

There is no vaccine against West Nile virus.

Note for blood donors: those who have recently travelled to an area with West Nile virus transmission may need to wait or be tested for the virus before their blood is accepted.

For further information see TRAVAX West Nile Fever page.