Cyprus Mail

New case of West Nile virus identified

A new case of the West Nile mosquito-borne virus has been confirmed while another is under investigation in Famagusta, chief health officer Elizabeth Constantiou said on Friday, noting that four more people are still undergoing treatment for the virus.

The new confirmed case raises the figure of people affected in the republic this year to 10. So far, three elderly persons – one in the government-controlled areas and two in the north – have lost their lives.

Constantinou expressed the hope that mosquito populations will decrease from September onwards.

A Health Ministry announcement said that 80 per cent of people infected with the West Nile virus show no symptoms, while 20 per cent develop mild symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms. Patients usually recover within 3 to 10 days.

The announcement added that around 1 in 150 people, or less than 1 per cent of those infected with the West Nile Virus, will develop a serious form of the disease, affecting the central nervous system, or causing meningitis, encephalitis or acute paralysis.

The West Nile Varus is usually spread through common mosquitos. It is impossible for the virus to spread through person to person contact.

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