Three dead in Serbian West Nile virus outbreak

Three people have died in the first ever outbreak of the West Nile virus in Serbia, in which 35 contracted the disease, health authorities said Saturday.

"The infected people are aged over 50 with some chronic disease, meaning at a higher risk of getting a more severe form of the virus," Serbia's public health institute said in a statement on its web site.

Those killed by the mosquito-borne disease were aged between 68 and 81 and suffered from chronic , it said.

The outbreak was first reported on Tuesday, when announced that one person had died and 21 were infected by the virus.

Jelena Obrenovic, an official with the public health institute, called on residents to protect themselves from , notably by avoiding places infested with the insect and by putting mosquito screens on windows.

Authorities have announced they will spray insecticide over the weekend in a bid to reduce mosquito numbers.

Earlier this week, Serbia's Health Minister Slavica Djukic Dejanovic said there was no danger of a West Nile virus epidemic.

can cause symptoms similar to flu, but in extreme cases can result in fever, coma and a lethal swelling of the , known as encephalitis. It can also cause meningitis.

First discovered in Uganda in 1937, the virus is carried by birds and spread to humans by mosquitoes.

There is no known cure but 80 percent of those infected do not develop any symptoms at all.

The virus is responsible for more than 60 deaths in the United States so far this year.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

One dead in Serbian West Nile virus outbreak

Sep 04, 2012

An outbreak of the West Nile virus in Serbia has killed an elderly woman and infected 20 other people with the mosquito-borne disease, health officials said Tuesday.

West Nile deaths in US mount, one dead in Maryland

Aug 30, 2012

The West Nile virus, responsible for more than 60 deaths in the United States so far this year, has now claimed its first victim in the eastern state of Maryland, state health officials said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Ebola discoverer says would sit next to victim on train

7 hours ago

The scientist who helped discover the Ebola virus said the outbreak in west Africa was unlikely to trigger a major epidemic outside the region, adding he would happily sit next to an infected person on a train.

Peace Corps withdraws from W. Africa over Ebola fears

7 hours ago

The US Peace Corps announced Wednesday it was pulling hundreds of volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to growing concerns over the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa.

User comments