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Italy: 2022 Usutu Virus

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  • Italy: 2022 Usutu Virus


    Usutu Virus: first case in Piedmont, third in Italy; all there is to know (the risks)
    It was first isolated in 1959
    Article dated 08/21/2022
    by Team Meteorologists and Technicians

    There are already three cases in our country There are already three cases in our country The disease comes buzzing and is called the Usutu virus, three overall cases have been isolated in Italy, to be precise in Piedmont and Friuli. The media explain that the very similar pathology to that of West Nile was detected in a 46-year-old blood donor from Asti.

    There are viruses around, useless to deny it, only defining them new is often wrong. Usutu, for example, has been present in Europe since 1996. The positive Piedmontese donor is asymptomatic because, as SkyTg24 explains well, with the spread of Covid, transfusions are now strictly controlled and the virus was immediately identified in the donor in the screening phase. Usutu, we recall, was isolated for the first time in 1959 in Africa.

    It was present in the Culex neavei mosquito near the Usutu River, in the former Swaziland. It is a very similar virus, also in genetic morphology, to the one that causes Nile Fever. Usutu is transmitted by mosquitoes to humans and direct infection between humans is very rare. The "person to person" contagion in fact occurs through transplantation or transfusion of infected blood. What about the symptoms? Fever, rush, jaundice, headache, and neurological symptoms, while in the most severe cases neck stiffness, hand tremors and hypereflexia.