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West Nile virus cases up 53% in Italy in 7 days

Infections rise from 94 to 144, 10 dead since start of June

(ANSA) - ROME, AUG 11 - West Nile virus cases have risen 53% in Italy in the last seven days, the Higher Health Institute (ISS) said Thursday.
    The number of cases has risen from 94 to 144, from the beginning of June to Tuesday August 9, the ISS said.
    Three people have died of the virus in the last week, taking the overall death toll up to 10, all in northern Italy.
    There have been six deaths in Veneto, two in Piedmont, one in Lombardy and one in Emilia-Romagna.
    West Nile virus (WNV) is a single-stranded RNA virus that causes West Nile fever. It is a member of the family Flaviviridae, from the genus Flavivirus, which also contains the Zika virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever virus.
    he virus is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes, mostly species of Culex.
    The primary hosts of WNV are birds, so that the virus remains within a "bird-mosquito-bird" transmission cycle.
    The virus is genetically related to the Japanese encephalitis family of viruses.
    Humans and horses both exhibit disease symptoms from the virus, and symptoms rarely occur in other animals. Identification of the human disease was first made in 1937 in Uganda and in the latter half of the 20th century spread to many other parts of the world. (ANSA).


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