Aug 23, 2012

Usutu Virus Caused Death Again



Waldsee – Originating from Africa Usutu – virus in southwestern Germany has again triggered a mass extinction of black birds and now spread to humans. Near Ludwigshafen in Rhineland-Palatinate, everyday up to ten dead blackbirds were discovered.Norbert Becker of the Municipal Association even said the fight against mosquito plague in the Upper Rhine (KABS) in Forest Lake, the news agency DAPD reported. The virus itself killed chicks in their nest.
The Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine has now demonstrated a human infection. According to the Head of virological diagnostics, Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit, they ran  blood tests of 4,200 blood donors from the Rhine-Neckar region and someone was positive. One patient from the Hessian Gross-Gerau Usutu had antibodies against the blood was so ill a few months before that.
“Probably give it even more cases, the disease will often not be recognized,” said Schmidt Chanasit of DAPD. For mild fever and rash GPs it would hardly be symptoms of the Usutu virus and is more of a diagnose of¬†summer flu. Severe cases such as in Italy, where the virus had caused in immunocompromised patients with a brain infection. However, there was no report yet that it affects Germany.
The pathogen is transmitted by mosquitoes in the house hold and it may just appear like a summer flu. “It is surprising that Usutu this year was as bad as the one raging in 2011, when it was first rampant in Germany,” Becker said. The KABS experts had been hoping that the birds develop resistance and thus the advance of the virus will stop. Instead, the problem has only shifted spatially. Dead birds are currently being reported in particular along the wine route of Landau and Neustadt to Bad Durkheim to Ludwigshafen and Walldorf. The death of the birds make many people very sad that some even called to KABS crying on the phone because she mourned the blackbirds in their yard.

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