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In cooperation with Dr. Volker Schmidt (Clinic for Birds and Reptiles) the West Nile Virus (WNV) was detected for the first time at the Institute of Virology of the Veterinary Faculty of the University of Leipzig. These are a blue tit, goldfinch, canary and swallow parakeet from Leipzig and the Leipzig area. The cases were officially confirmed by the national reference laboratory for West Nile virus in birds and horses of the Friedrich-Löffler-Institute.
Wild birds are considered a natural reservoir for WNV, but can also be affected by sometimes severe infections with fatal consequences. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. Horses and humans can act as false hosts of WNV. The course of the disease is usually asymptomatic to mild, but neurological complications can also occur in isolated cases.