For several years, people infected with the West Nile fever virus, also called “West-Nile”, have been identified in France. In 2019, two cases were detected in the Var and in 2018, no less than 27 people had been affected by the virus in the Alpes-Maritimes. Spain is not left out: the West-Nile virus has already killed four people in the country since the end of August.
What is the West Nile virus?
Identified in 1937, in the West Nile district, in Uganda, the West Nile virus was first detected in France in 1964, in the Camargue. The West Nile fever it causes is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, of the genus Culex, the most predominant in France. These mosquitoes become infected through contact with infected birds. Viral pathology can affect humans and horses, but they cannot transmit the virus in turn.
West Nile fever: what are the symptoms?
In 80% of cases, human infection with West Nile virus is asymptomatic. But in 20% of cases it looks like the flu and manifests itself by the following symptoms:
fever headache stiffness
More rarely, West Nile fever causes serious neurological complications, such as meningitis. “Anyone with a fever accompanied by headaches and backaches, muscle pain, swelling of the glands in the neck, a rash, or even behavioral disorders or inconsistent comments should consult their doctor,” says the regional health agency of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in a press release.
West Nile virus: how to protect yourself from it?
To protect against Nile fever, the Regional Health Agency recommends eliminating stagnant water, which is breeding ground for mosquitoes. It is therefore advisable to empty and store in a safe place the saucers and other small containers that are around your home in the garden. If you collect rainwater