December 4, 2023

Africa’s deadly virus could reach Europe in 48 hours

As several media outlets reported, doctor Luis Enjuanes of the Spanish National Research Council warned during a conference on the so-called West Nile virus: “It can travel from North Africa to Ibiza within 48 hours because of the strong air currents that carry mosquitoes with it.”

According to Inguanes, climate change in particular is promoting rapid spread. Because of strong air currents and changing temperatures, mosquitoes find better conditions.

However, the story is not entirely new to Europeans: West Nile virus broke out in Spain in 2020. Some people died from it at the time. According to the Spanish newspaper Diario de Ibiza, cases of infection were recently recorded in three villages in the south of the country.

The disease has already been detected in mosquitoes in Switzerland. It is said that migratory birds brought the pathogen to the country.

According to health authorities, most of those infected recover from the disease within a few days. Many people have no symptoms or only have flu-like symptoms.

However, less than one percent may have neurological problems. For example, it can lead to meningitis or inflammation of the entire brain. In such severe cases, West Nile virus infection can be fatal, according to the World Health Organization.

West Nile virus is usually transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Such stings often occur at dawn or dusk. The insects themselves first infect birds.