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“The West Nile virus in most cases causes an asymptomatic disease, only one in 8 develops a febrile illness very similar to the flu, therefore with headache, fever, fatigue, bone pain. And one in 200 infected people generally develops a very serious disease with involvement of the central nervous system, encephalitis and in some cases even serious consequences with permanent damage or death, especially in the elderly ”. This was stated, in an interview with “Timeline” on Sky TG24, by Andrea Crisanti, director of the Department of Molecular Medicine of the University of Padua.
Chrysants: “To protect yourself, use repellents and mosquito nets”
Veneto, elderly death struck by West Nile
Still referring to the West Nile Virus, which has birds and mosquitoes as reservoirs, whose bites are the main means of transmission to humans, Crisanti explained that it is “a flavivirus, a single-stranded Rna virus, not to be confused. in any way with the coronavirus. It has similarities with the yellow fever virus, with Zika, with Dengue. ” To protect against infection, she added, “the thing that works best of all are repellents. There are many very effective ones, and then mosquito nets at night, if you live in an area with a lot of mosquitoes.” In other words, “you have to avoid getting stung, basically,” she said.
“Veneto among the most affected areas because it is rich in waterways”
During the interview Crisanti then explained why Veneto is one of the most affected areas in Italy: “For a very simple reason. Just go around the countryside in this area and you will see a myriad of courses. of water and many irrigation fountains. It is therefore precisely the orography of Veneto, which is a region rich in water “, together with the” very strong agricultural vocation, which ensure that the ideal conditions for multiplication are generated in the field of mosquitoes “. This virus, the expert later recalled, “we have known for a long time, for tens of years. It was initially transmitted in the tropical and subtropical belt of Africa. Subsequently, about 20-25 years ago, it was identified for the first time in New York. In Italy the first infections were recorded between 2008 and 2010 and the worst West Nile epidemic was in 2018, with about 5-6 thousand cases in Italy “.
Covid, Crisanti: “It seems that we are approaching the plateau”
Among the issues addressed by Crisanti, also the trend of the Covid-19 pandemic in Italy. “It looks like we are approaching the plateau. With 100-150 thousand cases a day, probably underestimated by half, so 300 thousand cases a day, after a month of transmission, the virus has infected or is about to infect all those it could infect. Therefore, by decreasing the susceptible population, the dynamics of transmission of the virus is decreasing. We are reaching the plateau for this very reason: in the last 2 months, according to estimates made, we are talking about 20-25 million cases ”, he said.
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