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West Nile virus epizootics in the Camargue (France) in 2015 and reinforcement of surveillance and control networks

Author(s) : C. Bahuon, et al.

Summary :

West Nile virus (WNV) infection is a non-contagious disease mainly transmitted by the bites of infected mosquitoes from the genus Culex. The virus is maintained in a mosquito–bird–mosquito cycle, and can accidentally be transmitted to mammalian hosts. Among mammalian hosts, equines and humans are the most sensitive to WNV infection and can develop severe meningoencephalitis. As WNV infections are zoonotic and can be severe in humans and equines, West Nile fever is considered to be a public and animal health concern. After a silent period of almost ten years, WNV re-emerged in France at the periphery of the Camargue area during the summer of 2015, underlining the fact that the Camargue area creates favourable conditions for WNV emergence and amplification in France. The French Network for Epidemiological Surveillance of Equine Diseases (Réseau d’Épidémio-Surveillance en Pathologie Équine [RESPE]) facilitated the early detection of WNV cases in horses. In total, 49 horses were found to be infected; among them, 44 presented clinical signs, 41 with meningoencephalitis and three with hyperthermia only. Six horses among the 41 with nervous symptoms died from the disease or were euthanised (a case fatality rate of 14.6%).


Camargue – Epizootic – Equine – France – French Network for Epidemiological Surveillance of Equine Diseases – Human – Réseau d’Épidémio-Surveillance en Pathologie Équine – RESPE – West Nile virus.

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