An elderly woman, who has not been named, from the town San Giovanni Lupatoto, has died at Verona hospital after her symptoms worsened in mid-August.
The pensioner was suffering from leukaemia and at the beginning of August had complained of severe headaches and nausea, typical symptoms of the disease that can be confused with those of the flu.
After a series of laboratory tests it was confirmed she had contracted the virus, which is transmitted by the Culex mosquito, triggering the Veronese Municipality to disinfect the neighbourhood where she had lived.
The first death caused by the disease in the region was recorded on the 31 July, when an 86-year-old pensioner passed away in Legnago hospital.
A week later, on 8 August, the second victim, an 89-year-old man from Este, the province of Padua, lost his life.
And on 13 August the virus, that was first discovered in Egypt, took the life of a 74-year-old woman living in Salgareda, in the province of Treviso.
There have been at least 55 outbreaks of the virus elsewhere in Europe between 27 July and 3 August, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
In Veneto alone the number of cases had risen to 84 on the 15 August, with 59 of the cases marked as mild.
But Luca Coletto, the Councillor or Veneto, urged the public not to panic about the risk of disease.
He said: “Only in 0.1% of cases the virus evolves to the most dangerous form of neuroinvasiva.
“This is a particularly intense situation compared to previous years, whose virulence may have been aided by the hot and humid climate of recent weeks. Everything is monitored minute by minute and is absolutely under control. There is no need to talk about a particular alarm”.
In 80 per cent of people the virus does not show any symptoms but can lead to a fever or severe disease, with around 20 per cent of people who become infected developing a fever, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Symptoms include fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, occasionally with a skin rash and swollen lymph glands.
While the number of people infected with the virus has continued to grow in Veneto, some of the victims have not required medical intervention.
For instance, a 46-year-old woman from Meolo, and a 55-year-old man from Annone Veneto, both towns in Venice, fell ill with the virus but did not require hospital admission.
If victims do require medical attention then they are often given intravenous fluids, respiratory support and prevention for secondary infections but there is currently no vaccine available for human, WHO notes.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.