Published Date: 2012-08-10 20:57:55
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> West Nile virus - Eurasia (04): Greece
Archive Number: 20120810.1239031
WEST NILE VIRUS - EURASIA (04): GREECE
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 6 Aug 2012
Source: Le VIF [In French, transl. Corr.SB]
In Greece, 3 people died in July and August , as a result of being bitten by mosquitoes carrying the West Nile fever virus. According to Greek health care services 44 others are also infected. Most cases were reported in the suburbs east and south of Athens and in the north, near the town of Naoussa.
"The number of people infected may be even higher," said Dr Giorgos Tagaris. "The patients complain of slight ailments such as cranial or joint pain, or show no symptoms."
The inhabitants of the regions concerned were advised to protect themselves against insect bites.
The West Nile virus is largely widespread, particularly in Africa, Asia and North America. More more cases have also been recorded in southern and eastern Europe.
According to the German Robert Koch Institute, about 20 per cent of patients infected develop a feverish flu-like illness, while one in 150 may incur more severe disease, including meningitis.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[As was suggested in a comment in the 14 Jul 2012 ProMED-mail post (archive number 20120714.1202042) reporting the 1st human WNV encephalitis case in Greece this year (2012), the early appearance of clinical encephalitis cases suggested that more human, and perhaps equine, cases were to be expected. That is happening, with new cases occurring in August 2012. One hopes that residents in the areas where the cases occurred will take the precautions mentioned above to avoid mosquito bites, and that owners of equine animals have their animals already vaccinated.
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map showing the location of Athens and vicinity can be accessed at
http://healthmap.org/r/2K53 and a map showing the location of Naoussa in northern Greece at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naousa,_Imathia. - Mod.TY]