Cyprus Mail

Authorities step up measures, as several taken ill with mosquito-borne virus

An Anopheles stephensi mosquito obtains a blood meal from a human host through its pointed proboscis in this handout photo

Four people have been taken ill with the West Nile virus in the government-controlled areas and several more in the north, which also saw one fatality, the health services said on Thursday.

Three of the patients are currently being treated in the intensive care units of the Nicosia general hospital, two, and a private hospital in Nicosia. The fourth patient has also been admitted to hospital. The four cases all concern elderly men from Nicosia.

Health authorities were also looking into a potential fifth incident in the Famagusta area, also concerning an elderly male.

Two of the confirmed cases in Strovolos and Palouriotissa, appear to be unrelated, the health services said.

No stagnant water, rivers, ponds, or water fountains exist in the areas where the cases were recorded, nor were there any complaints of an increased presence of mosquitoes.

Authorities believe the presence of infected mosquitoes in those areas was due to human-made sources like flower beds, pots, and water bowls.

Health officials were going door to door informing the public in the two areas in question.

Among other measures, authorities planned to spray the entire Pedieos riverbed from the village of Anayia, outside Nicosia, to the point where it enters the buffer zone, near the central prison.

The bed is mostly dry, the authorities said, and in some spots where there was water, no mosquitoes were found.

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