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It arrived in Italy and comes from Africa, it is the Nile feverbetter known asWest Nile fever.What is that? A viral disease spread for decades but present in Italy only for a few years.
West Nile virus: symptoms and treatment ofNile fever, things to know and provisions on the health situation in Italy. Prevention and treatment.
West Nile virus in Italy
It is called "West Nile" because the first isolation of the virus was done in Uganda, in the West Nile district, in 1937. You will understand, therefore, that it is not a new disease ... but for us Italians it is.
If you have heard the news during the summer of 2018, you will have heard of theNile feverorWest Nile fever. This disease has been the confirmed protagonist of various infections, to be exact, the cases confirmed by the health authorities were 577. Unfortunately, thewest Nile fevermade headlines because it caused a few dozen deaths.
ThereNile fever, last summer, seemed to be concentrated in some regions of Northern Italy: Veneto, Piedmont, Lombardy, Emilia Romagna and Friuli Venezia Giulia, only to a limited extent in Sardinia.
For next summer there are several hypotheses on how the spread of the virus could evolve and for this reason it is important to avoid the vector.
Although the Nile virus seems to have arrived only last year in Italy, the first documented case in our country dates back to 2008. The infected subject reported all thesymptomstypical ofWest Nile fever, it was a woman residing in a rural area between Bologna and Ferrara. In the last decade, there have been other documented cases but the real boom only exploded last summer.
Nile fever: symptoms and treatment
THEsymptomsthey are the same for both animals and humans. THEsymptomsshown here are the official ones, highlighted by the National Institute of Health.
In most cases, there are nonesymptomsstriking. Only in some infected subjects it occurssymptoms. The so-called "symptomatic cases" ofWest Nile feverthey see clinical signs such as:
- Skin rashes
- He retched
- Muscle aches
- Swollen lymph nodes
Please note: thesesymptomsthey are not exclusive indicators of the West Nile Virus, which is why it is important to consult your doctor.
In 1% of cases they can occursevere symptomsas:
- Very high fever
- Severe headaches
- High muscle weakness
- Visual disturbances
These just reported are the symptoms found in only 1% of the infected, that is, in the most severe cases. The National Institute of Health also makes it known that: "some neurological effects may be permanent. In severe cases (about 1 in a thousand) the virus can cause lethal encephalitis“.
More severe symptoms may be more likely to arise in at-risk individuals such as the elderly, patients on immunosuppressive therapy, HIV patients and other debilitated individuals.
Treatment and care
In case ofsymptomsabove or I suspect that I have contracted thewest Nile virusit is important to go to a medical facility immediately. The Ministry of Health has issued a circular bearing aSurveillance and response plan to thewest Nile and Usutu virus. The Usutu Virus, just like west Nile, is transmitted by mosquitoes.
To protect yourself it should be remembered that this pathology is a zoonosis and as such must be treated: it must be doneprevention!
To understand howdefend yourself from Nile Feverit is advisable to understand how the infection occurs.
Contagion: the West Nile Virus reservoir
TheWest Nile Fever virus reservoirwould seem to be mainly wild birds, even if theinfection of the Nileit can also affect theman and horses.
Currently there is the possibility ofvaccinate horsesin advance and it would be appropriate to do so.
The main street oftransmissionrepresents thebite of infected mosquitoeswho do fromvirus vector. Protecting yourself from mosquitoes is crucial. In Italy there are several types of mosquitoes which can cause the infection.
Can an infected human being infect?
No, unless there are sensational exchanges such as infected syringes, blood transfusions ... The virus does not spread by air.
Failingspecific treatments against Nile feverit is important to base everything onprevention. Given the importance of the mosquito as a vector of the disease, it is important to carry out remediation procedures to eliminate mosquitoes and larvae.
Small precautions such as: mosquito nets on windows, phytosanitary treatments for lawn and garden, adoption of biological control with bats, toads and fish (in the case of artificial lakes and streams), represent good practice to protect yourself fromWest Nile virus fever.
For example, if you have a garden prone to attracting mosquitoes, you can start by preventing these insects by using specific products. Generally we do not recommend the use of insecticides, but if you live in one of the most risky regions, it could be useful. Among the various insecticides, I would like to point out "Zapi with low environmental impact", it is a rather powerful insecticide, so it is better to follow the recommended doses on the label.