The first case in Germany – the mosquito bites the infected human with West Nile Virus

In Germany, the first case of West Nile Virus has become known, in which a person has by a mosquito bite get infected. As the Robert Koch announced to the Institute, was sick of the 70-year-old man from Saxony to an inflammation of the brain and in the Klinikum St. Georg in Leipzig has been treated. In the meantime, the Patient had recovered.

West Nile virus originated from the African continent. In most cases, certain mosquitoes for Transmission of the pathogen. Birds are the main hosts of the Virus are. Mosquitoes become infected often if you prick the animals and can give the pathogen then to the people. For this reason, many outbreaks occur along typical routes of migratory birds.

Infection is usually mild

The infection is at about 80 percent without any complaints. About 20 percent show mild disease symptoms such as fever, skin rash and flu-like symptoms, this is then referred to as West Nile fever. Transfers are also through blood transfusions possible.

Less than one percent of all the victims – usually in older people with pre-existing conditions – it is, however, an inflammation of the brain (Meningitis) or, less frequently, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), which can be fatal skin. In the affected patients, no significant pre-existing medical conditions were known.

In the past year had already infected a veterinarian from Bavaria in the post-mortem examination of a dead Bartkauzes with the West Nile Virus. It was the first known Transmission of West Nile Virus to humans in Germany. The current case is the first Transmission by a mosquito bite.

Climate change contributes to the spread of the Virus North of the Alps

“The risk of further cases increases, as the number of mosquitoes in the autumn. In the coming summers, however, we must expect further West Nile Virus infections,” said Lothar Wieler, President of the Robert Koch Institute. “Fortunately, the majority of the cases are mild.”

In previous years, there were outbreaks in South and Central Europe and black sea countries. In 2018 and 2019, scientists of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute and the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for tropical medicine in Germany, more than 70 of West Nile meadows-Virus to dead wildlife and birds kept in zoos, especially Eastern Germany is affected.

“Apparently, the climate change leads to unusually warm summer for the last two years have contributed to the West Nile Virus to the North of the Alps has been established,” says Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, head of virus diagnostics at the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute. In this country, the Virus is transmitted by domestic mosquitoes of the genus Culex.

This year, according to the researchers, increasingly horses are affected. Horse owners are therefore advised to have the animals vaccinated. Vaccines or specific treatments for people, there is not yet. Infections can only be achieved by mosquito prevention. The detection of the West Nile Virus is reportable.