What do I need to know before I travel?
Public Health Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

West Nile virus in Italy (La Spezia)

12 Jul 2021

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has reported a case of West Nile virus (WNV) in La Spezia, north west Italy in the week before 8 July 2021. This is the first time a human case of WNV has been recorded in this province.

West Nile Fever is caused by West Nile virus (WNV).  It is spread by Culex mosquito bites and can cause a flu-like illness and rarely, severe disease.

Advice for Travellers

WNV is rare in travellers. There is no vaccine against WNV.

When visiting areas experiencing an outbreak of WNV, you should:

  • practice mosquito bite avoidance measures both day and night
  • seek medical advice if you develop a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms with a high temperature (fever) following travel to a risk area

Note for blood donors: if you have recently travelled to an area with WNV transmission, you may need to be tested for WNV before donating blood.

For further information see the fitfortravel West Nile Fever page.