ZAGREB, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- A total of 26 people in Croatia have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus (WNV) this year and one has died of it, the Croatian Institute of Public Health announced on Monday.
Since last week, the institute has received ten new reports of the disease, which is most often transmitted by infected mosquitoes and birds. The victims all came from the northwest and eastern parts of the country.
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, by Aug. 30 there were 710 cases of WNV infections in Europe. Most of them in were in Italy (327), Serbia (243) and Greece (147).
Croatian news portal index.hr reported on Monday that at least 20 people in Croatia who have been diagnosed with the virus were infected in Croatia.
WNV can cause neurological disease and death. The virus first appeared in Croatia in 2012 and since then 38 people have been infected. However, only a small percentage of the infected has been recorded, as the disease is usually mild and goes without any symptoms.
It is estimated that 80 percent of infected people have no symptoms while others develop a disease with flu-like symptoms such as high temperature, headache, sickness, and vomiting. Only 1 percent of infected people are hit by a heavy fever that usually leads to meningitis or encephalitis.