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Five infected with West Nile virus in Greece

By Katerina Nikolas     Jul 14, 2012 in Health
Five people have been infected with the mosquito borne West Nile virus, which can cause encephalitis and meningitis. Unusually, those infected were in urban areas of Athens.
The intense heatwave, that has seen temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius and which is forecast to last through until Monday evening, has exacerbated the risk posed by mosquitoes.
Ekathimerini reported that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) has issued advice to ward off mosquitoes.
In addition to the usual precautions of applying mosquito repellent, covering exposed skin and using nets in the home, they have advised citizens to spray their homes and to ensure that stagnant water is not allowed to stand in gardens.
Professor Thanassis Chakra of the University School of Medicine, Athens, warns that older people are more at risk of serious infection if they contract the virus. Eighty percent of people infected with West Nile virus remain asymptomatic.
Spraying against mosquitoes in the areas where cases have been thus far reported has commenced and KEELPNO has taken the precaution of quarantining blood supplies in infected areas.
More about West nile virus, KEELPNO, Mosquitoes, Encephalitis, Greek heat wave
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