Brit tourists in Spain on alert after outbreak of killer West Nile virus

British tourists in southern Spain could be exposed to the deadly West Nile virus after a string of deaths.

A 70-year-old man passed away on August 28 after being taken to an intensive care unit in Seville in the region of Andalusia.

He is the third fatality from the disease, after a 77-year-old man and a 85-year-old woman died last week.

The virus is spread via mosquitos, and one in five of those who are infected develop symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Only one in 150 develop a severe illness, where symptoms can include high fever, vision loss and paralysis.

According to the Spanish newspaper El Pais, all three victims died from meningoencephalitis – inflammation of the brain and its surrounding membranes.

Forty-nine people have so far been infected, from Guadalquivir, Coria del Rio and La Puebla del Rio in the Andalusia region.

Of those, 14 have been hospitalised and five are in intensive care.

The director of the Aljarafe health district in Seville, Rocio Hernandez, said there is no precedent for an outbreak with so many people affected in Andalusia – although they have occurred in Romania and Greece.

  • Portugal could be re-added to quarantine list unless it has 'miracle drop' in cases

Local health officials have urged locals to put up mosquito nets and screens in their homes to avoid mosquito bites.

Climate change has been blamed on the spread of the disease originally from East Africa into Europe, Asia and America.

It comes as Spain deals with a resurgence in coronavirus cases, having so far recorded more than 400,000 infections and nearly 30,000 deaths.

  • Brit tourist dies after being hit by speedboat propeller on Corfu beach 

Last month, the country’s air corridor with the UK collapsed, and returning tourists were told to quarantine for two weeks.

However, Health Minister Salvador Illa yesterday said “nothing suggests” the country will enforce a second lockdown like the one in March.

He told La Vanguard that figures were climbing but “as of today, it does not threaten the health system”.

He added: “We are not in the same situation as March. More than half of the cases being detected are asymptomatic, the average age is much lower (around 40), cases are generally milder, hospital pressure is around 5% and fortunately, the number of deaths is much lower than in March and April.”

Source: Read Full Article