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West Nile virus in Europe (Update 1)

31 Aug 2021

From the begining of summer 2021 to 26 August 2021, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has reported 43 cases of West Nile fever in EU countries. These cases have been recorded in Greece (25, including 1 death), Italy (11), Romania (3), Austria (2) and Hungary (2) . In Serbia there have been 6 cases, of whom 2 have died.

West Nile fever is caused by West Nile virus (WNV) and occurs annually in southern and central Europe. The virus is spread by 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.