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

Obama addresses West Africans on facts about Ebola

1 hour ago

President Barack Obama urged West Africans on Tuesday to wear gloves and masks when caring for Ebola patients or burying anyone who died of the disease. He also discouraged the traditional burial practice ...

Gluten-free diet benefits asymptomatic EmA+ adults

2 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Asymptomatic individuals with endomysial antibodies (EmA) benefit from a gluten-free diet (GFD), according to a study published in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Another US health worker infected with Ebola

2 hours ago

A third American health worker has tested positive for the Ebola virus while working with patients in West Africa, the Christian missionary group SIM said Tuesday.

UN implores all countries to help on Ebola

4 hours ago

The international group Doctor Without Borders warned Tuesday that the world is 'losing the battle' against Ebola, while U.N. officials implored all countries to quickly step up their response by contributing health experts ...

Travel restrictions could worsen Ebola crisis: experts

8 hours ago

Travel restrictions could worsen West Africa's Ebola epidemic, limiting medical and food supplies and keeping out much-needed doctors, virologists said Tuesday as the disease continued its deadly spread.

User comments