A warbler has been found in the Dutch region of Utrecht that is infected with the West Nile virus. It is the first time that this virus has been found in the Netherlands, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) announced.
The virus mainly occurs in birds and is transmitted by mosquitoes. When people get infected, they usually don’t get sick. About 80 percent have no complaints at all, 20 percent have mild symptoms such as fever and flu-like complaints. In exceptional cases, an infection can lead to serious neurological complaints.
The West Nile virus has spread over many parts of the world in recent decades, including Southeastern and Central Europe and Germany. Mosquitoes become infected by feeding on infected birds. These mosquitoes then spread the virus to other birds and sometimes to humans and other mammals, such as horses. The virus is not transmitted from humans to humans or from humans to animals via mosquitoes.
The warbler is a breeding bird. Warblers arrive in April and leave for Africa in late summer. Because the warbler was tested positive in the summer, it is very likely, according to the RIVM, that this sparrow contracted the virus in the Netherlands. The same bird was also caught in the spring and tested negative.