Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Information about West Nile

Three die in Turkey from the mosquito-borne West Nile virus

By The Associated Press (CP) 

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish authorities say three people have died and two others have been hospitalized after becoming infected with the West Nile virus. Turkey's NTV television quotes Health Ministry official Mustafa Ertek as saying the cases occurred in cities in western Turkey, including Izmir, Aydin, Manisa, Isparta and Sakarya.

Anatolia news agency carried a similar report Wednesday. West Nile is transmitted by mosquitoes that have bitten infected birds. In a small number of cases, infection can result in encephalitis or meningitis, which can lead to paralysis, coma and possibly death.

I thought more people had already died from this outbreak here. Maybe these are confirmed cases?  Here is a news story from Wednesday, 25 August 2010: 

Mystery Manisa virus may be West Nile, Turkey says

A virus that has killed six people in the past two weeks may be the same strain of the West Nile virus that was also observed in the north of Greece, doctors say, as most of the symptoms resemble those presented in patients with the West Nile virus.
The Turkish Health Ministry announced that six out of the 16 patients who have come to the Manisa State Hospital since Aug. 12 complaining of fever, thrombocytopenia (lack of blood clotting cells), altered states of consciousness and skin eruptions have died.
The statement also announced that a scientific committee was rapidly set up following reports from the Manisa State Hospital's infectious diseases experts. The committee is composed of experts from the Health Ministry's Fundamental Health Services General Directorate, the Refik Saydam National Public Agency (RSHM), which deals with bacteria and viral disease prevention, and academics from relevant medical backgrounds.  (

As a public service to all my readers living in Turkey or Greece,  I have included two bits of information- which is after all the best way to prevent over-reaction.

How To Protect Yourself From West Nile Virus on Howcast

And here are some basic FAQs about the West Nile virus.

Here's to your health.


  1. Oh dear...something else to worry about!

  2. Actually, according to the information, most people who contract WN show no symptoms at all. Most mosquitoes are not infected with the West Nile virus. Illnesses related to mosquito bites are rare,Fewer than 1% of people infected with West Nile virus develop encephalitis, and among those hospitalized with West Nile encephalitis, the case fatality rate ranges from 3% to 15%. Therefore, less than 1 in 1,000 of people infected with West Nile virus die.

    I wonder if this strain is more virulent than the one from the American outbreak.

  3. During the Bird Flu Crisis, we told my mother in law we were thinking of getting a cat. She went batshit about the filth involved, and told us she'd read in the paper about a boy in the village who died because he got bird flue from playing with a dead cat that had died from eating a bird infected with bird flu.

    What will this year's panic be, I wonder?


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