Source: EpiCentro, Centro Nazionale di Epidemiologia, Sorveglianza e
Promozione della Salute (National Center for Epidemiology,
Surveillance and Health Promotion) [in Italian trans. CopyEd.MJ, edited]
In September 2008, following the notification of a serological
positive sample for West Nile virus in 20 samples taken from horses
in a farm in the province of Rovigo, the Veneto Region has initiated
active surveillance in all workers on farms found to have infected
animals, as well as rapid surveillance among patients with
meningoencephalitis of unknown etiology, as required by Ministerial
Circular n.400.3/3.2/4234 of 18 Sep 2002.
The various parties involved were immediately summoned to meetings
for the preparation of a regional plan of action, which includes the
coordination of actions for human surveillance, activities for vector
control to be taken, entomological surveillance, and control of blood
donors potentially infected with West Nile virus (WNV).
To date there have been reports of seropositivity in 85 farms. The
start of active surveillance at these farms has been reported to the
hygiene and public health (SISP) service of the local health and
social unit (ULLS). In particular [results] for the following provinces [were]:
- - Province of Rovigo: 68 farms, 135 persons were sampled, 11 cases of
suspected WNV infection were sent for verification (of which 1 was
confirmed by the National Institute of Health-ISS).
- - Province of Venice: 6 farms, 12 individuals were sampled, 3
suspected cases (1 confirmed by ISS).
- - Province of Padua: 18 farms, 52 individuals were sampled, 3
suspected cases were sent to ISS for laboratory verification.
All samples were sent to the regional reference laboratory.
Entomological surveillance was also activated to capture _Culex_
mosquitoes [which are the WNV vectors. - Mod.TY] through placement of
CO2 traps on farms found to be WNV positive [seropositive humans or
horses? - Mod.TY] and on neighboring areas. Testing for detection of
[WNV] in samples carried out in the Padua Zooprofilactic Experimental
Institute (IZS) gave negative results.
Active surveillance has led to the laboratory confirmation by ISS of
an asymptomatic [WNV infection] in an employee of a farm. The rapid
surveillance, however, confirmed the presence of West Nile virus in a
person hospitalized in the infectious diseases department of the
Rovigo Civil Hospital.
There were 2 press releases prepared (20 Oct 2008 and 27 Oct 2008) to
give people information about the disease, the mode of transmission
of the virus, and the public health measures undertaken by the
region. A plan for regional surveillance of West Nile disease has
been prepared and is going through the approval process.
[Byline: Francesca Russo, Francesca Zanella, Cinzia Piovesan]
[West Nile virus transmission and infection in people, horses, and
birds were reported in Ferrara province, the province to the
immediate south of Rovigo province, in October 2008. The occurrence
of WNV transmission in Rovigo province is not surprising.
The Veneto region of Italy and the provinces of Rovigo, Venice, and
Padua can be identified on the maps at
An interactive map of Rovigo province, Italy can be accessed at
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Italy can be accessed at
<http://healthmap.org/promed/en?g=3164604&v=45.5,11.75,5 >. - Mod.TY]
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