Drones Brought To Battle Sevilla West Nile Virus Outbreak

The Spanish government has announced a campaign of drone spraying of swamp and rice paddy areas to kill mosquitoes that spread disease after an outbreak of the West Nile Virus which has already claimed three lives.

Faced with the greatest expansion of the West Nile Virus in the southern Spanish autonomous community in history, the Andalusian government has announced a plan of emergency measures this Tuesday, 1st September.

The president of the Andalusian government, Juan Manuel Moreno, announced that the plan will be carried out in several phases, contemplating periodic annual actions to “end the mosquito and prevent its reproduction in the future.”

The first measure will consist of the fumigation of the lower Guadalquivir Marshes, located in the province of Seville in the Andalusian community, and the contiguous groups of municipalities that have already been declared ‘Areas of special action’.

The West Nile virus is transmitted to people by mosquito bites, whose reproduction niche are areas of stagnant water, whether clean or contaminated with organic debris.

The government has provided a special budget of 100,000 EUR (88,975 GBP) for the hiring of a drone company that can carry out the fumigation work immediately and thus eradicate the virus carriers while they are still eggs or larvae.

Concern about the advance of the virus in the region increased after the death of the third victim of the virus in Spain, a 70-year-old man, who was not named, in an intensive care unit (ICU) last Friday, 28th August.

Previously, the deaths of an 85-year-old woman and a 77-year-old man were recorded in the province of Seville.

According to the latest figures from the Andalusian Government, there are currently 47 affected by the virus, of which 33 have given positive for Nile fever but have not tested positive in all the clinical parameters subjected to analysis.

The rest of those affected, 14 cases, are fully confirmed.

There are currently 14 patients affected by the virus admitted to hospitals, six of them in the ICU