Major health alert hits Faro days before Irish fans arrive in city

Mosquitoes transmit the virus to humns
Mosquitoes transmit the virus to humns

Just days before Faro welcomes the Irish football team, the area has been hit by a suspected case of the potentially deadly West Nile Virus (WNV).

The Portuguese Directorate-General for Health issued a formal warning on Monday after a Portuguese man who lives in Faro was diagnosed as having a probable case of the extremely serious virus.

The man was released from hospital, but they will continue to monitor him. Authorities believe he did contract the disease in the south of Portugal, rather than carrying the illness back from another part of the world.

The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and the advice to the general public in the Algarve is to take measures to prevent mosquito bites such as repellent and nets.

Around 80 per cent of those who contract the disease have no symptoms and less than one per cent of those who do display symptoms develop the serious, and potentially deadly, infections to the central nervous system.

The Algarve is always a popular destination for Irish visitors and an estimated 2,000 soccer fans are also due in Faro this week for Ireland's Euro 2016 clash with Portugal.

The Department of Foreign Affairs have issued travel advice to fans heading to the city, but it makes no mention of the health alert. 

Attempts to contact the Department this afternoon for a comment were unsuccessful.