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Usutu virus in northern Italy: Piedmont and Lombardy

23 October 2023

Public health authorities in Italy have reported 7 cases of Usutu virus disease from the beginning of 2023 to 4 October 2023. Two cases were reported in Piedmont and 5 in Lombardy. Five of the cases were found in blood donors. The other two had neurological symptoms.

Usutu virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and is usually found in blackbirds. It causes disease very rarely in humans. Most cases will have fever, headache and muscle pains, although severe neurological disease can occur.

Advice for Travellers

Travellers to affected areas should be advised to:

  • practice mosquito bite avoidance measures at all times, especially at dusk and dawn during peak transmission times and when outbreaks are known to be occurring
  • seek medical advice if they develop a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms with fever following travel to a risk area

There is no vaccine against Usutu virus.