Spain holiday warning: Costa del Sol faces deadly mosquito alert – affected areas

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Last year, 87 people were affected by the virus in Andalusia, the region where Costa del Sol is located in the south of Spain, and eight were killed. The Andalusian Government has decided to act now as some regions are currently at high risk.

According to health officials, the highest level is recorded in Benahavís, in Malaga. The authorities are implementing prevention plans as well as surveillance and control measures in these regions.

The Nile virus is generally transmitted by mosquitos that bite birds, which carry the virus and deposit it in both humans and horses.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the “West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall,” it stated.

The NHS explained: “Some people develop mild flu-like symptoms, a skin rash and may feel sick. The infection usually goes away on its own without treatment. The virus is not contagious. You only get it from being bitten by an infected mosquito.”

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Areas at high risk of Nile virus circulation:

Tarifa, Cádiz

Barbate, Cádiz

Benalup-Casas Viejas, Cádiz

Conil de la Frontera, Cádiz

Medina Sidonia, Cádiz

El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz

Puerto Real, Cádiz

Vejer de la Frontera, Cádiz

Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz

San José del Valle, Cádiz

Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz

Trebujena, Cádiz

Bornos, Cádiz

Moguer, Huelva

La Palma del Condado, Huelva

San Bartolomé de la Torre, Huelva

Aljaraque, Huelva

Huelva, Huelva

Lepe, Huelva

Santa Bárbara de Casa, Huelva

Lopera, Jaén

Benahavís, Málaga

Almensilla, evilla

Bollullos de la Mitación, Sevilla

Bormujos, Sevilla

Camas, Sevilla

Castilleja de la Cuesta, Sevilla

Coria del Río, Sevilla

Gelves, Sevilla

Mairena del Aljarafe, Sevilla

Palomares del Río, Sevilla

La Puebla del Río, Sevilla

San Juan de Aznalfarache, Sevilla

Sanlúcar la Mayor, Sevilla

Tomares, Sevilla

Villamanrique de la Condesa, Sevilla

Sevilla, Sevilla

Carmona, Sevilla

Castilblanco de los Arroyos, Sevilla

Mairena del Alcor, Sevilla

Alcalá de Guadaíra, Sevilla

Las Cabezas de San Juan, Sevilla

Dos Hermanas, Sevilla

Lebrija, Sevilla

Morón de la Frontera, Sevilla

Los Palacios y Villafranca, Sevilla

Utrera, Sevilla

These areas are being advised to promote specific prevention plans to minimise the possible impact of infections in humans.

In addition to the urban disinfections, communication plans about the preventive measures will also be put in place.

British tourists visiting these areas are being advised to follow the local Government’s prevention and safety measures.

Minister of Health and Families of the Junta de Andalucía, Jesús Aguirre, said that the publication of a risk map was “a preventive diagnosis”, as no cases have been registered this year yet.

He explained: “Taking the data that we have had in previous years, we look at the colorimetric index of each of the areas of Andalusia.

“The objective is to know where we have to be more careful in the face of summer.”

Many people don’t experience any symptoms but the virus can lead to serious health problems and even death.

According to the WHO, 20 percent of those who become infected suffer symptoms such as fever, headache, fatigue, body pain, nausea and to a lesser extent, skin rashes or enlarged lymph nodes.

In some cases, the virus can cause a neuroinvasive disease such as encephalitis, meninigitis or poliomyelitis.

Last year’s outbreak, which was the worst Nile virus ever registered in Spain, started in the riverside towns of Coria del Río and La Puebla del Río and then spread to parts of Seville.

It quickly arrived at the coastal resort of Cadiz in August.

Drones were used to spray the areas where the mosquitos had been detected and to kill their eggs.

Additional reporting by Rita Sobot

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