NewsLocalElderly patient with West Nile virus dies

Elderly patient with West Nile virus dies

An elderly patient has died after contracting West Nile virus while another two patients remain in intensive care, the Health Services said on Wednesday.

They said that a total of nine cases of West Nile virus have been reported in the government controlled areas, four in Nicosia, four in the Famagusta area and one in Larnaca district.

Two patients remain in intensive care, two in a clinic, four have improved and were discharged and one patient of an advanced age has died, it added.

The Health Services said that they have not been notified of additional cases in the areas not under the control of the Republic.

They also listed the measures taken since the first case was diagnosed, including increased monitoring, intensified measures to combat mosquitoes and contacts with public health services abroad.

It advised the public to take precautions against mosquito bites by wearing long sleeves and trousers, mainly after dusk, using mosquito repellent and taking steps at home such as clearing stagnant water and using fans and air conditioning.

The virus is usually transmitted by infected mosquitoes which have bitten infected birds. The West Nile virus is not transmitted by human contact.

Most infected individuals usually do not get sick or have mild symptoms. Very few — under 1% — exhibit serious sometimes fatal illness. The elderly or people with long term medical conditions or a suppressed immune system are more at risk.

There is no special treatment, nor is there currently a vaccine

Any suspected case of West Nile virus must be reported to the Health Ministry’s contagious diseases unit on telephone  22605601 or by fax on 22605491.

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