West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes in Ticino –

West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes in Ticino –

Already present in Veneto or Lombardy, the West Nile virus was detected for the first time in mosquitoes in Ticino. But no case of this disease transmissible to humans has yet been reported.

The discovery was made in recent days by the Institute of Microbiology of the University of Applied Sciences of Italian Switzerland (SUPSI). The virus was detected on mosquitoes in several places in the north and south of the canton.

The Ticino Department of Health, which communicated the information on Tuesday, specified that the services of the cantonal doctor want to make caregivers aware of possible developments.

Virus carried by migrating birds

This virus is carried by migratory birds and can be transmitted to other birds by certain species of mosquitoes, mainly the common mosquito (Culex pipiens). The tiger mosquito can also transmit it, but it is not considered the main vector.

Horses and humans can be infected as terminal hosts. The virus can then no longer be transmitted, either to a mosquito or to another human being or animal.

Most asymptomatic infections

In humans, most infections (80%) remain asymptomatic and 20% cause flu-like symptoms. Complications (encephalitis and meningitis) occur in less than 1% of cases.

The elderly and immunocompromised are most at risk. Specialists advise them to protect themselves by covering up and using mosquito repellents.

In northern Italy, the focus of the virus is in the region of Padua, in Veneto. People have also been infected in Emilia-Romagna and neighboring Lombardy.

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