(Handout photo released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control)
A total of 35 people have so far been infected during the biggest West Nile outbreak ever detected in the southern region of Andalusia.
MADRID, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- A 77-year-old man from the southern Spanish town of La Puebla del Rio has become the first victim of the West Nile virus in Spain on Thursday night, Spanish media reported on Friday.
According to Spanish TV network Telecinco and family sources who confirmed the news to news agency EFE, the patient had been in intensive care in a hospital near the town, where he had been receiving treatment for several days before succumbing to the virus on Thursday night.
A total of 35 people have so far been infected during the biggest West Nile outbreak ever detected in the southern region of Andalusia, according to an online story by Spain's best-selling newspaper El Pais.
The outbreak mainly affected two towns in Andalusia -- La Puebla del Rio and Coria del Rio -- both located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River. Of these, 32 people have been hospitalized, with six of the patients in intensive care, according to the regional health department. The average age of those infected in the outbreak is 60, and 71 percent of the victims are men, said El Pais.
The virus has been spread by mosquitoes, which are common in the area given the proximity to the river. The virus, which is transmitted by the common Culex mosquito, causes a death rate of 0.1 percent among those infected. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 80 percent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms. ■