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West Nile virus in Europe: update 1

28 Aug 2023

In the week ending 23 August 2023, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported continuing transmission of West Nile virus (WNV) in European countries. Cases were reported by Italy (79, including 3 deaths), Greece (10, including 3 deaths), France (6), Hungary (6), and Romania (3, including 2 deaths) and Serbia (15).

From the beginning of the 2023 transmission season to 23 August 2023, ECDC has reported reported 268 cases of WNV infection in European countries. Cases have been reported from: Italy (135, including 6 deaths), Greece (58, including 8 deaths), France (13), Hungary (11), Romania (9, including 3 deaths), Germany (2), and Spain (1), Serbia (38) and North Macedonia (1).

West Nile 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 affected by WNV, you should:

  • practice mosquito bite avoidance measures at all times
  • 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.