West Nile virus claims 3rd victim in Spain

Spain has reported a third victim of the West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne infection, officials said.

According to health authorities on Friday, the third victim, a 70-year-old man, died from the virus in Seville, reports Xinhua news agency.

The other two victims were an 85-year-old woman and a 77-year-old man from the small towns of La Puebla del Rio and Coria del Rio, in the Andalusian region situated next to the Guadalquivir river, which also passes through the centre of Seville.

The health authorities also reported that the number of active cases of the virus dropped from 37 on Thursday to 33 on Friday, with the number of people receiving hospital treatment falling from 17 to 14 (of whom six remain in intensive care).

The virus is spread by mosquitoes, which are common in the area given the proximity to the river.

According to the World Health Organization, approximately 80 per cent of people who are infected will not show any symptoms.

The current outbreak of the virus is the largest recorded in the region and has been attributed to an increase in the number of mosquitos following a wet spring, which created ideal breeding conditions.

Local authorities have carried out intensive fumigation programs in recent days to control the spread of the virus.

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