In 2018 in Europe 181 people died due to west nile virus, a tropical disease carried by mosquitoes is transferred. The number of deaths is much higher than last year, when 26 people were killed by the virus, reports in Nature Today (Wednesday).
In total were more than fifteen hundred people within the EU are infected with the virus, writes Nature Today on the basis of figures from the European Center for Disease Control (ECDC).
The number of infections was higher than the number of infections in the previous seven years are added together. ECDC provides no explanation for the strong increase, but according to Nature Today, it is likely that the sustained heat is the cause.
Italy was with 576 infections of the country where most of the people affected by the virus. Then followed Greece, and Romania, with respectively 311 and 277 infections.
The most deaths from the disease fell in Greece (47). In Italy, 46 people, and in Romania 43. In the Netherlands there are no infections reported, and thus fell also no deaths as a result of west nile virus.
Owls in Germany infected with virus
The virus was not this year in new countries, but in new areas. In a bird park in Germany showed that laplanduilen were infected with the virus. The owls would have acquired the virus by local mosquitoes. Also a German veterinarian on the owls autopsy performed got infected.
The infection in Germany was in Berlin. “That place is about the same height as the Netherlands. That means that we in the Netherlands also apprehensive on the nile virus,” says Arnold van Vliet, a biologist at the University of Wageningen (WUR).
“I think it’s a matter of time that we are the first infection of west nile virus in the Netherlands”, says Van Vliet. “It may take ten to twenty years, but it can also next year. If we get a hot summer, than we have here in the Netherlands the ideal conditions for the virus to develop.”
The netherlands has the perfect “muggeninfrastructuur” according to Van Vliet. “Think of all the wells along the road where water able. That are the mosquitoes the perfect breeding grounds.”
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RIVM do not expect any contamination in the Netherlands
The RIMV reports that it is not expected that the nile virus in the coming years for local transfer in the Netherlands. “This is the risk to the public health is limited,” said a spokesman.
According to the RIVM it is possible that people who have the virus abroad incur that bring to the Netherlands, but “secondary local spread from the human being is not at issue”.
The spokesman indicates that the RIVM, the situation continues to monitor and looks at ‘ways in which monitoring over the coming years, form must get”.
Several tropical mosquito species already established in the Netherlands
Previously proposed multiple muggenexperts even though that the Netherlands is better for should prepare for deadly illnesses caused by mosquitoes are transferred and that, over time, also in the Netherlands for contamination.
The tijgermug is one of the mosquito species that those diseases can transfer, and which has already in several places in the Netherlands. That is also true for the Asian bosmug.
Minister Bruno Bruins (public Health) reported earlier that, combating the Asian bosmug not going to happen, because the insect is already on too many places have settled.
Entomologist Bart Knols called it “disappointing”. He added that the mosquitoes a “much greater risk than the minister thinks”. He suggested that the army was necessary for the muggensoort in the Netherlands to eradicate. The ministry of Defence let then know that are open.
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