Weekly updates: 2018 West Nile fever transmission season


Situation update

Between 12 and 18 October 2018, EU Member States reported 34 human West Nile virus (WNV) infections in Italy (14), Hungary (9), Greece (8), France (2) and Austria (1). EU neighbouring countries reported 16 cases, all by Serbia.

In two areas (NUTS 3 level) in France human cases were reported for the first time. All other human cases were reported from areas that have been affected during previous transmission seasons.
This week, 8 deaths were reported by Greece (6), Italy (1) and Serbia (1).

In the same week, as of 17 October, 8 outbreaks among equids were reported by Italy (6), Spain (1) and Portugal (1).

In 2018, as of 18 October 2018, EU Member States have reported 1 436 human cases in Italy (550), Greece (302), Romania (268), Hungary (212), Croatia (45), France (24), Austria (19), Bulgaria (11), Slovenia (3) and the Czech Republic (2). EU neighbouring countries reported 498 human cases in Serbia (385), Israel (110) and Kosovo* (3). To date, 172 deaths due to West Nile virus infection have been reported by Italy (44), Greece (41), Romania (38), Serbia (35), Bulgaria (11), the Czech Republic (1), Hungary (1) and Kosovo* (1).

In September 2018 in Germany, a veterinarian was diagnosed with suspected WNV infection after performing an autopsy on a deceased owl found in a wildlife park near Poing, Ebersberg, Bavaria, Germany. WNV was detected in the owl by PCR in tissue samples recovered during the autopsy.

During the current transmission season, 243 outbreaks among equids have been reported by Italy (128), Hungary (84), Greece (14), France (8), Romania (2), Germany (2), Spain (2), Austria (1), Slovenia (1) and Portugal (1).

In accordance with European Commission Directive 2014/110/EU, prospective blood donors should defer for 28 days after leaving an area with evidence of West Nile virus circulation among humans unless the results of an individual nucleic acid test are negative.

*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the International Court of Justice Opinion on the Kosovo Declaration of Independence.

Data from the ECDC surveillance Atlas

Weekly updates

Case definition

EU case definition for diagnosing and reporting West Nile fever, under Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council.

ECDC is providing, for the current transmission season, weekly updates on the reported cases of West Nile fever in humans and equidae in the EU Member States and neighbouring countries (i.e. those included in WHO European region and/or bordering the Mediterranean Sea). Read more