Status: 04.12.2023, 13:56 PM
By: Leyla Yildiz
A person in Middle Franconia dies as a result of the rare Borna virus. The transmission routes are still unknown.
Weißenburg – A person who had fallen ill with the rare Borna virus in Middle Franconia has now died from the complications of the infection. This information was announced on Monday by a spokeswoman for the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district office. On November 21, the authority had reported the case of infection in the district.
The Borna Disease Virus 1 (BoDV-1) is native to the field shrew. It causes encephalitis, which is almost always fatal. The animals spread the virus through their urine, feces and saliva. In this way, other mammals could become infected. However, the routes of infection have not yet been sufficiently researched.
Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen: Man infected with Borna virus and dies
A man has died after being infected with the Borna virus. © IMAGO/Ralph Lueger
How exactly the virus is transmitted to humans has not yet been clarified and is the subject of current research. In the present case, too, the State Office for Health and Food Safety (LGL) is currently trying to determine the route of transmission. In Germany, about 50 cases of Borna virus infection in humans have been documented so far. The Robert Koch Institute estimates that there are two to six illnesses every year, with Bavaria being particularly affected.
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To protect against infection, the LGL recommends avoiding contact with shrews and their excretions. Places where people could potentially come into contact with shrews include road embankments, stone walls, hedges, and generally sheds and other parts of buildings that are accessible to wildlife. It is not yet known whether garden and house shrews can also transmit the Borna virus.
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This article has been machine-edited and carefully reviewed by editor Leyla Yildiz before publication.