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Cyprus authorities confirm one more West Nile Virus case, second incident under investigation

Four people are still being treated for the West Nile Virus,  Chief Health Officer Elisavet Constantinou told CNA.

Two of them are in Intensive Care Units and two in a Pathology Clinic, while there is a new confirmed case and another one under investigation in Famagusta.

Replying to CNA questions, Constantinou said that nothing has changed in relation to the four patients. “What changed is that we have a suspicious incident in Famagusta, with the patient being hospitalized, while one more incident, involving a patient, has been confirmed,” she said.

Asked how the public can protect itself from mosquitoes, she said that Cyprus follows the same practice as other countries with similar cases. She proposed wearing long-sleeve clothes and trousers during evening hours and using mosquito repellents and fans

She also expressed hope that mosquito populations will decrease from September onwards.

Asked about West Nile Virus incidents in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, the Chief Health Officer said that the Head of the competent bicommunal Technical Committee was in contact with the Turkish Cypriot side, which informed him that there are no new incidents. The Ministry of Health is unable to corroborate this information, Constantinou clarified.

According to a Ministry of Health announcement, 80% of people infected with the West Nile Virus show no symptoms and 20% may develop mild symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms. Patients usually recover within 3 to 10 days, it is noted.

Moreover, the announcement says that around 1 in 150 people or less than 1% 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 mosquitoes. It is impossible for the virus to spread through person to person contacts.

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