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Inclusion of Morocco on the list of countries at risk of WNV infection for human body products donation

The confirmation in France of the death of an infant following a neuro-invasive West Nile virus (WNV) infection contracted in the city of Tangier in Morocco led the General Directorate of Health (DGS) to question the High Council of Public Health (HCSP) on the advisability of including all or part of this country on the list of countries and regions at risk of WNV infection. This list includes the countries and regions for which, in the event of a stay of at least one night by a donor of products derived from the human body, either a 28-day postponement or a search for infection markers must be respected by the WNV. Until now, Morocco had not been included on this list due to the absence of declaration of recent human cases by this country, in particular due to a lack of active surveillance of this infection.

The occurrence of the case reported above, the presence in Morocco of different mosquitoes likely to be vectors of WNV, the confirmation of the active circulation of WNV with exposure of human and avian populations in the northwest of Morocco and the fact that the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) is considered an area at high risk of WNV infection for residents and travelers, particularly on the Mediterranean coast, led the HCSP to issue the following recommendations:

  • Tangier region is included on the list of areas at risk of WNV infection for blood donors
  • Morocco in its entirety is included on the list of countries at risk for organ, tissue and cell donations.

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