A migratory bird tested positive for West Nile Virus in the Netherlands. The bird was caught in August during routine sampling in the region of Utrecht. West Nile Virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes, making it a type of an arbovirus. Humans, and other mammalian species such as horses, are susceptible to the virus. This is the first time the virus has been detected in the Netherlands.
Wild birds are routinely captured, sampled and released as part of the One Health PACT project, a research consortium coordinated by Professor Marion Koopmans, head of department of Viroscience, Erasmus MC). The One Health PACT research consortium was launched last year (2019) with the aim to develop an early-warning system for the introduction of exotic viruses, including West Nile Virus. Since the beginning of 2020, over one thousand wild birds have been sampled at various locations within the Netherlands.
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