Three die of deadly West Nile virus in SerbiaPublished On: Sat, Sep 8th, 2012 | Global Health | By BioNews
At least three people have died in Serbia from the West Nile virus, which is carried by mosquitoes and causes brain inflammation.
The virus was first detected in the US in 1999, according to US government agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The virus has been reported in 1,993 cases, resulting in 87 deaths, till the beginning of September, the CDC said.
The first death in Serbia was registered in August and two more people died in the first week of September.
At least 30 people infected with the virus have been hospitalised, said Olga Djulovic, director of the Belgrade Infective Clinic.
Doctors said the virus was transported to Europe by migrant birds, but few cases have been reported elsewhere in Europe so far.
However, infections have been discovered on animals and birds in Croatia and Serbia, reports said.
Serbian media has criticised health authorities of hiding the truth, instead of taking precautionary measures immediately. But Djulovic said the exact cause of the three deaths was determined only a few days ago.