The RIVM has announced that a bird in the Utrecht region has been tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNV). The virus mainly occurs in birds and is transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus can also be transmitted to humans and some mammals, including horses.
It is the first time that the West Nile virus appears in our regions. The sparrow carrying the virus was captured in late August and was part of the One Health-Pact research project. Since the beginning of this year, birds have been regularly tested for exotic viruses in the Netherlands. A sparrow is not a migratory bird, so the animal has most likely contracted the infection near the Netherlands.
Horses can also be infected by this virus. Usually an infection is not accompanied by visible symptoms. Symptoms that may occur are a lack of appetite, lethargy, colic and fever. In a very severe form, neurological symptoms can also occur.
Source: Press release