During the summer of 2021, five cases of West Nile fever were registered in Ukraine, according to the Public Health Center of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
Three of them are in Bucha and Fastiv districts of Kyiv region (women 33, 56 and 90 years old), one is in Zaporizhia region (girl 12 years old). A case of West Nile fever from the city of Douala, Republic of Cameroon (a 25-year-old man) was also registered in the Kyiv region.
West Nile fever in Ukraine is normally found the territories of the North-Western Black Sea Coast (Crimea, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Kherson regions), as well as eastern and western regions.
West Nile virus is typically spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although it can cause severe disease, only about 1 in 5 of those infected will develop any symptoms at all. Those who do develop symptoms usually experience a flu-like illness including fever, headache, body aches and muscle weakness. Rarely, about 1 in 150 people infected can develop encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or of the spinal cord). This more severe form of the disease can present with headache, neck stiffness, vision loss, paralysis and other neurologic symptoms. These severe cases can lead to very prolonged illness, permanent paralysis or death. Those who are over 60 years old, have underlying medical conditions or have depressed immune systems are at higher risk for the more severe form of West Nile virus.
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