NewsGermany is on alert. The first case of a deadly virus reported

Germany is on alert. The first case of a deadly virus reported

Hospital in Germany. Illustrative photo.
Hospital in Germany. Illustrative photo.
Images source: © Getty Images | Sascha Schuermann
ed. PC
3:02 AM EST, November 23, 2023

An individual in Bavaria has reportedly been infected with Bornavirus. This particular virus is exceedingly dangerous to humans, and in almost all instances, results in death. In response to this startling development, a health alert has been issued.

"Der Tagesspiegel" has reported a case of Bornavirus 1 (BoDV-1) infection in Bavaria, a development that's incredibly rare.

The county office in Weißenburg confirmed on Tuesday that the infection was found in a resident of the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district. The authorities, however, have not provided further information regarding this individual. How old the patient is remains unknown, and under what circumstances might the infection have occurred? According to German media, the patient's diagnosis does not look promising.

The deadly consequences of the virus

The pathogen can lead to meningitis, which, in almost all instances, is fatal. Survivors often endure secondary severe brain damage, as emphasized by "Tagesspiegel".

The role of the shrew in transmission

The German public health department and the veterinary inspector are working arduously to determine the source of the infection. The only known host of the pathogen is the shrew. The animal reportedly ejects the virus through its urine, feces, and saliva, potentially infecting other mammals. Consequently, Bavaria has issued a health alert, urging residents to avoid both live and dead shrews and any droppings they may find. Under no circumstances should these be touched with bare hands.

It was only as recently as 2018 that it was confirmed that BoDV-1 can also be transmitted to humans, leading to brain inflammation and frequently resulting in patient death. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) estimates that 2 to 6 people fall victim to this virus in Germany annually, primarily in Bavaria. The case discovered in the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district is the first reported this year.

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