Update: Two patients in Tulcea, suspect of West Nile virus; tests return negative
(Includes updated information about the result of the tests in the last paragraph)
Two men in Tulcea county, southeastern Romania, have been diagnosed with viral meningitis and are suspected of contracting the West Nile virus, according to Mediafax newswire. The tow patients, of 18 and 43, most likely got the virus through mosquito bites when they went fishing.
Local authorities sent samples for testing to the Bucharest Cantacuzino Institute to establish whether the two were carrying the West Nile virus.
West Nile virus (WNV) is found in both tropical and temperate regions. It mainly infects birds, but is known to infect humans, horses, dogs, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, and domestic rabbits. The main route of human infection is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Around 90 percent of West Nile Virus infections in humans are without any symptoms.
The most recent West Nile outbreak in Romania was in 1996. Through the world, the most recent outbreak was in Israel in 2000.
The main means of control of the West Nile outbreaks is through mosquito control.
UPDATE: The testing came back negative on both patients who were suspected to have been infected with the West Nile virus. The standard procedure in Romania is that for all viral meningitis cases to test for the West Nile virus bu default.
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