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Three More Cases of West Nile Fever Suspected

A total of six blood samples from people suspected of having West Nile Fever have been sent to Turkey.

According to Minister of Health Ali Pilli, most of the patients are from the Iskele and Famagusta regions.

Three people were diagnosed as having been infected with the West Nile Virus. One died, one has been discharged from hospital and on person is still receiving treatment. A further three, have had blood samples sent to Turkey, one is a 10 year-old boy who has contracted meningitis.

According to the US Centre for Disease Control approximately 80 per cent of infected people have few or no symptoms, around 20 per cent of people develop mild symptoms, such as fever, headache, vomiting, or a rash, while less than 1 per cent of people develop severe symptoms, such as encephalitis or meningitis with associated neck stiffness, confusion, or seizures.

Most cases have been reported from the Long Beach area, the victims all lived close to swampland that is currently being drained, said Health Ministry undersecretary Mustafa Akçaba.

SPRAYING HAS BEEN CONTINOUS

North Cyprus News - Mosquito SprayingIsmail Arter, Mayor of Famagusta Municipality, stated that there is a continued effort being made to spray lakes, streams and other bodies of water with biological larvacides, using both their own resources and the support of the private sector.

Iskele Mayor Hasan Sadıkoğlu said the following:

Before the West Nile Virus was detected, we had routine pesticide spraying, we didn’t stop.

Most of the complaints reaching the municipality are from the Long Beach area. There is a creek there as you know.

There has been a lot of rain this year. Mosquitoes breed in water, even in the smallest puddle in the courtyard of homes. Our fight to destroy the larvae has been ongoing for 3-4 months. In the summer, we also struggle with houseflies. We’re evaluating reports. Mukhtars in the villages also provide information about puddles and spray them.

We’re routinely spraying the fields. We are fighting to get the sheep out of the village. Daily checks are made. While spraying should be done every 21 days, we do spraying once a week.

CLIMATE CHANGE

The President of the Association of Biologists Hasan Sarpten said:

When international sources are examined, the deterioration of the natural balance with climate change, increases the appearances of Western Nile virus. These cases were seen in Africa until the 90’s. It then spread throughout Asia and Europe. Last year, there were outbreaks in Turkey, Israel and Greece.

PROTECTION METHODS

In individual protection methods; removal of factors that facilitate reproduction of mosquitoes such as puddles in the house, warehouses, the installation of mosquito nets on the windows of the house, the use of mosquito repellent sprays on a personal basis, the wearing of long-sleeved protective clothing, the avoidance of outdoor activities during the hours when the mosquitoes peak (dusk/early evening), and the use of contact tissues. In summary, the main approach to disease prevention is to reduce mosquito reproduction areas and to prevent mosquito bites”.

Yeni Duzen, Kibris News Agency

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