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Greece: First West Nile Virus Death 2014

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West Nile Virus Transmission Cycle Infographic


Infographic credit: "West Nile virus transmission cycle" by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - ncidod/dvbid/westnile/cycle.htm. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

The British Government (GOV UK) is fast off the blocks to inform us at Brits in Crete of their latest Greece Travel Advisory noting the first incident of the West Nile Virus for this Summer in the country. The GOV UK's advisory said on Aug 14 that this mosquito carrying disease has claimed its first victim in Greece this year. This was just one day after Greece's own Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) confirmed the first incident of West Nile Virus.

KEELPNO's version said the first Greek suffering from an infected mosquito bite is an 85-year-old from Attiki. He had not travelled outside his local area. His condition was not stated, just he was in hospital.

KEELPNO expresses concern at the growing threat across Greece from this disease that was first reported in 2010 in the country when 35 deaths were recorded from 262 cases. By last year 2013 there were 86 cases, of which 11 were fatal.

#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

Read 20139 times Last modified on Saturday, 18 December 2021 09:23
Gerald Brown

Ex-pat administrator of the Brits in Crete websites, yachtinggreecedirectory, Crete classifieds - Cretedirect, olacafe, acnephobia,, cretepropertyuncovered, cretepropertyforsale, rssstuff, britsin greece and more. All are mobile friendly while several are still in development stages.

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