What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

West Nile virus in Europe

22 Jul 2022

From the beginning of summer 2022 to 20 July 2022, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has reported 21 cases of West Nile fever in European countries.

These cases have been reported in Italy (15, including 4 deaths), Greece (4) and Serbia (2).

West Nile fever is caused by West Nile virus (WNV) and occurs annually in Italy. The virus is spread by mosquito bites and can cause a flu-like illness and sometimes, severe disease.

Advice for Travellers

WNV is rare in travellers. There is no vaccine against WNV.

When visiting areas experiencing an outbreak of WNV, you should:

  • practice mosquito bite avoidance measures both day and night
  • seek medical advice if you develop a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms with a high temperature (fever) following travel to a risk area

Note for blood donors: if you have recently travelled to an area with WNV transmission, you may need to be tested for WNV before donating blood.

For further information see the fitfortravel West Nile Fever page.