#West_Nile_Virus outbreaks are noticeably linked to periods of hot weather. Greece has been sweltering at 41C temperatures this past week. The virus is transmitted through a typical mosquito bite and most healthy people suffer only minor symptoms but the elderly are particularly vulnerable especially if they suffer other illnesses that weaken the body's immune system. Younger people with health complications are also vulnerable.
West Nile Virus is now found across the world. Prior to the middle of the 1990s, the West Nile Virus (originally first recorded in Uganda in 1937) occurred only rarely and was considered a minor risk for humans. Cases in Algeria in 1994 and Romania in 1996 which caused encephalitis, and then in New York 1999 indicated infected mosquitos had spread outside the tropics. West Nile Virus is now regarded as an endemic pathogen in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and in the United States (particularly Texas).
Testing for the virus is usually through blood samples and/or a lumbar puncture.
Greece has an efficient disease reporting system. But it is up to individual households to take measures from being bitten by mosquitos particularly early evening and while sleeping. Perhaps we should not be surprised at the arrival of the West Nile Virus as Greece is directly north of the Nile Delta region with just the Libyan Sea dividing the two land areas. The nearest point in Southern Greece (Crete) to Egypt/Libya is around 250 miles (450 kms).
Greek Source: Greek Reporter