A very rare infection with the Borna virus has been detected in Bavaria. The district office in Weißenburg announced on Tuesday that a person in the Weißenburg-Gunzenhausen district was affected. The authority did not provide any further information about the infected person. The pathogen causes inflammation of the brain, which is fatal in almost all cases. Survivors usually suffer from severe secondary damage.

The health department and veterinary office are intensively involved in clarifying the route of infection, it was said about the current case. The Borna Disease Virus 1 (BoDV-1) occurs in the field shrew. The animals excrete the virus in urine, feces and saliva. Other mammals can become infected through this.

To protect yourself from infection, the LGL advises avoiding contact with shrews and their excrement. Live or dead animals should not be touched with bare hands.

The pathogen has been known in animals for a long time. It has only been proven since 2018 that BoDV-1 can also be transmitted to humans and usually causes fatal encephalitis. The Robert Koch Institute assumes that there are two to six illnesses every year in Germany, with Bavaria being particularly affected.

Communication from the district office Information from the LGL on the Borna virus Robert Koch Institute on Bornaviruses