West Nile Virus MAP: Where has deadly disease spread? Could it come to UK?

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Ebola outbreaks in the Congo have prompted world authorities to be cautious as severe heat increases the likelihood of other diseases developing.

Already in the grips of deadly wildfires, Europe is also suffering from a breakout of the West Nile Virus.

Also caused by the summer months, West Nile Virus is the result of mosquito season setting in.

West Nile Virus comes as mosquitos feed on infected birds and transmit the infection to humans, and it can have deadly consequences.

Where has West Nile Virus spread?

West Nile virus has recently claimed its first tow victims this year after landing in Greece.

Two men over the age of 80 are the first to lose their lives as a result of the disease, which has spread quickly around the EU this year.

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A total of 55 cases have been recorded in the EU, with Italy worst affected at 27 cases.

West Nile Virus UK spread Europe outbreak

Other countries to bear the brunt of the disease are Greece, with 21 cases, Hungary on five and Romania with two cases.

Serbia, hoping to become part of the EU by 2023, is the worst affected outside of the union, with a total of 29 cases discovered so far.

Of these 29 cases, one death has been recorded.

While the spread seems to be wide this year, the countries reporting cases are all ones which have had outbreaks in the past.

West Nile Virus UK cases mapped

Could West Nile Virus spread to the UK?

West Nile Virus tends to thrive in the same areas each year, this usually means where mosquitos can effectively breed in the right conditions.

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This means hotter climates are best suited for the spread of West Nile Virus.

The NHS notes there have been no cases of contracting the virus in the UK.

Brits are most at risk from contracting the disease while travelling abroad, and there are ways to ensure you don’t fall ill.

West Nile Virus mosquito spread

Unlike many diseases, the West Nile Virus cannot be passed person to person, so preventing it means preventing mosquito bites.

Ensuring you are stocked up on effective mosquito and insect repellent while travelling is the main tool for prevention.

Otherwise, wearing long-sleeved clothes and covering up is the next best option.

When staying in accommodation, make sure that beds and other areas are covered by screens or netting.

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