This website is part of the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) network

Epidemiological update: West Nile virus transmission season in Europe, 2016

16 Dec 2016

Since 2 June 2016, ECDC has been publishing weekly updates on the spatial distribution of human cases of West Nile fever in the European Union and neighbouring countries on its online atlas. The atlas covers autochthonous West Nile fever cases reported in the EU (both neuro-invasive and non neuro-invasive) which meet laboratory criteria as described in the EU case definition (Commission Decision 2008/426/EC). The maps also include non-imported cases from outside the EU. All cases detected in the EU are reported to TESSy (The European Surveillance System) through a real-time reporting system implemented in 2014. In 2016, two candidate countries, Serbia and Turkey, also began reporting cases to TESSy.

The first case of the West Nile fever season in Europe was reported on 7 July 2016 from Rostov in Russia. Since the beginning of the 2016 transmission season, 214 cases of West Nile fever in humans have been reported in the EU, 93 in Romania, 68 in Italy, 43 in Hungary, three in Austria, three in Spain, two in Bulgaria, and one each in Cyprus and Croatia. In neighbouring countries, 267 cases have been detected: 135 in Russia, 84 in Israel, 41 in Serbia, two in Syria, two in Turkey, and one each in Egypt, Tunisia and Ukraine.

In Croatia, a case was reported in an already affected area in 2012. One case was reported in Cyprus, from the district of Larnaca. The case developed symptoms 18 days after his return from Greece. Investigations in both countries identified Cyprus as the most probable country of infection.  For the second year in a row since 2010, no human cases were detected in Greece.

Russia and Israel reported a substantial number of cases but case numbers decreased compared with 2012: Russia reported 447 cases in 2012 and 135 in 2016, while Israel reported 125 in 2012 and 84 in 2016. In Serbia, the number of cases was higher this year than in 2015 (41 cases versus 28 cases) but lower than in 2014 when 76 cases were detected. A small number of cases was reported in Turkey (earlier case reports in 2011), in Tunisia (earlier case reports in 2011, 2012 and 2013), and in Ukraine (earlier case reports in 2011, 2012 and 2013). Syria (two cases) and Egypt (one case) were affected for the first time this year. The Egyptian case was in a traveller returning to France and reported through the French disease surveillance system. The exact place of infection could not be determined, but the Cairo and Menoufia governorates are the two most likely places of infection.

Since 25 November 2016, no human cases have been reported in Europe.

The activity of mosquito populations in Europe is decreasing and the European transmission season of West Nile virus is now coming to an end. ECDC published its last weekly update of the WN fever maps on 9 December 2016.



© European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) 2005 - 2017