Spatiotemporal Analysis of West Nile Virus Epidemic in South Banat District, Serbia, 2017–2019
Department of Infectious Animal Diseases and Diseases of Bees, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar Oslobođenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Veterinary Specialist Institute Pancevo, Novoseljanski Put 33, 13000 Pancevo, Serbia
Scientific Veterinary Institute Novi Sad, Rumenacki Put 20, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, Bulevar Oslobođenja 18, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Scientific Veterinary Institute of Serbia, Janisa Janulisa 14 Street, 11107 Belgrade, Serbia
Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Epidemiology, Belgrade University, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Department of Functional Foods Development, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Chelmonskiego Street 37, 51-630 Wroclaw, Poland
Directorate of National Reference Laboratories, Batajnicki Drum 10, 11080 Zemun, Serbia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Fathiah Zakham, Tarja Sironen and Pacifique Ndishimye
Received: 7 September 2021 / Revised: 5 October 2021 / Accepted: 9 October 2021 / Published: 13 October 2021
West Nile fever is an arthropod-borne viral disease that is transmitted from birds to humans and animals by mosquitoes. Humans may develop a severe disease, which sometimes can be fatal. At the end of the 20th century, the first outbreaks of West Nile fever among humans in urban environments in Eastern Europe and the United States were reported. The epidemics were characterized by the neurological form of the disease with a fatal outcome. Since the first outbreak of the disease in Serbia, the highest number of cases occurred in 2018. West Nile fever spread is driven by location and time, which means nearby locations and periods have similar features. Recognition of patterns of spread of the disease has the potential to facilitate the mosquito control program and disease prevention. This study aimed to examine the geographical and temporal similarities of registered cases during the epidemics in the period 2017–2019 in South Banat District, Serbia. We identified the following factors as crucial for the prediction of possible outbreaks: the presence of virus in natural reservoirs, mosquito abundance; precipitation, high water level of rivers followed by a consequent sudden decrease of precipitation and withdrawal of rivers into the main bed, and favorable temperatures.