THERE have been several cases of people in Spain being infected with West Nile fever after being bitten by mosquitos, but researchers in Holland have now discovered their first active case in a wild bird.
The public health institute RIVM announced today (September 16) that the virus was found in a common whitethroat, a migratory warbler which was first tested in the spring and showed no signs of infection.
West Nile virus tends not to display any symptoms in the majority of people but around 20 per cent of those who are infected develop mild flu-like symptoms but a small percentage (less than 1 per cent) can fall seriously ill and then require hospitalisation.
This bird was discovered as part of the One Health pact, a consortium of researchers led by Erasmus University in Rotterdam, who aim to track down exotic viruses in the Netherlands.
According to DutchNews.nl, researchers had already found antibodies to the virus in some birds but this is the first active case, explained a spokes-person for the RIVM.