On 15 October 2020, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in the Netherlands reported that a male patient had been diagnosed with West Nile virus (WNV) the previous week. The man had not travelled abroad recently, and is thought to have contracted the virus in the Utrecht region after being bitten by a mosquito. This is the first time that infection with WNV has been diagnosed in a person who has contracted it in the Netherlands.
Advice for travellers
- There is no vaccine against WNV.
- Mosquito bite avoidance should be practiced at all times, especially during peak transmission times and when outbreaks are known to be occurring.
- Outbreaks of WNV will be listed on the destination pages of the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
- Medical advice can be sought if symptoms develop, following travel to a risk area.
- Blood donors should note that if they have travelled to an area where WNV has been detected in the past four months, they may need to be tested for the virus before donating blood. All travel must be mentioned to the blood transfusion service so that they can determine whether a test is required. The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) has produced a leaflet which details information about blood donation after travel.
Further advice and information is available on the TRAVAX (for health professionals) and fitfortravel (for the general public) websites.
Source: TRAVAX, 15 October 2020