THE Andalucian Regional Government Health Council has reported 18 cases of viral meningoencephalitis in the province of Sevilla, 16 have been admitted to hospital, five of them were taken to the Intensive Care Unit.
The cases came from the towns of Puebla del Río and Coria del Río, which are located within the Guadalquivir marsh area, a thriving breeding ground for many types of mosquito. The health council has ensured that “all the necessary samples” have been taken and sent to the laboratory to find out the origin and means of transmission of the disease, which they believe may have been spread by mosquito bites.
So far, the tests have come back negative for bacteria and viruses, as well as for “Nile fever, Tuscany and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, with IgM for Nile fever virus also negative.” In addition, epidemiological surveys have been carried out aimed at detecting a common link between municipalities where these cases are concentrated.
Nile fever is a disease transmitted by female Aedes Japonicus, a mosquito endemic to East Asia, mainly Korea and Japan, and Southeast China that has been reported to have appeared in some areas of Asturias. Aedes japonicus has been reported in Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland, Slovenia, Taiwan and the US and now Spain.
Doctors say at the moment all the group admitted are receiving strong antibiotics – the only treatment available until the exact type of poison is detected in the blood.