West Nile virus outbreak spread by mosquitos kills two in Andalusia

Two people are confirmed to have died in southern Spain in an outbreak of a West Nile virus, a meningoencephalitis spread by mosquitos.

West Nile virus outbreak spread by mosquitos kills two in Andalusia
Credit: Lyle Buss/CC/UF/IFAS

A 77-year old man became the first victim on Thursday after being admitted to hospital in Seville while an 85-year-old woman succumbed on Friday.

A total of 35 people have so far been confirmed to be infected in the outbreak which has hit the areas of Coroa del Rio and La Puebla del Rio, two communities on the banks of the Guadalquiver River outside Seville.

Of these, 23 people have been hospitalised and seven are being treated in intensive care units.

The virus is transmitted by the common Culex mosquito and can causes inflammation of the brain and in rare cases death.

Residents in the affected areas have been warned to be vigilant and avoid mosquitos by covering up and using repellents while authorities have been fumigating problem areas.

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Spain’s Andalusia to allow travel between provinces after three-month wait

Andalusia's regional government has announced that provincial border closures will be lifted on Thursday April 29th, whilst the region’s borders and other restrictions remain in place. 

Spain's Andalusia to allow travel between provinces after three-month wait
From Thursday April 29th, it will no longer be necessary to have a justified reason to travel between Andalusia's 8 provinces. Photo: Ander Guillenea/AFP

Travel between Andalusia’s 8 provinces will be possible again on Thursday after three months of border closures to stem the spread of Covid-19 infections. 

Andalusian regional president Juanma Moreno made the announcement after meeting with the committee of experts that advises the Andalusian Government on the management of the coronavirus crisis.

Residents of Andalusia will therefore be able to travel again to Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Granada, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and Seville provinces without having to provide a justified reason for crossing their provincial borders. 

However, many of the other restrictions in the region will remain in place until at least May 9th, which marks the end of Spain’s state of alarm.

These are:

Andalusia’s regional borders closure will remain, with travellers having to provide a justified reason to leave or enter the autonomous community, such as going to health or educational centres, to take care of elderly relatives or dependants, to return to a usual place of residence or work/administrative reasons. 

The curfew from 11pm to 6am will continue.

A maximum of 6 people can meet outdoors and 4 indoors in bars and restaurants.

Shops and bars can stay open until 10.30pm. Restaurants can stay open an extra half an hour, but that coincides with the curfew time. 

Municipal border closures will remain in places where the infection rate has surpassed 500 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. In the majority of cases, shops and bars can stay open in these municipalities until 10.30pm. 

Municipalities where the infection rate is over 1,000 cases per 100,000 people have to keep all non-essential retailers and services closed.

Andalusia, Spain’s largest and most populated region with 8.4 million inhabitants, currently has a fortnightly infection rate of 237 cases per 100,000, a rate which has been dropping gradually over the past days.

A total of 8.2 percent of its population has received both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine; 21 percent have received at least one dose.