Diseases previously eradicated in Greece are making a comeback. Malaria, last seen 38 years ago, is the latest disease the Hellenic watchdog warns could re-establish itself.
Ekathimerini reported the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) attributes the sudden surge in malaria in patients with no history of travel to countries where malaria is still endemic, to several factors. KEELPNO cited climate conditions, mosquito activity and the influx in immigrants.
The hot summer has also witnessed an outbreak of West Nile Virus from infected mosquitoes.
In April Digital Journal reported Greek health ministers warned that previously eradicated communicable diseases are increasing dramatically, including leprosy, syphilis and cholera. The attributed cause was the surge in illegal immigrants bringing the communicable diseases into the country. KEELPNO's response was to launch health checks on migrants and hospitalize those with communicable diseases.
A new report states an alarming increase in tuberculosis and hepatitis has led to infected immigrants being isolated in Greek hospitals to prevent the spread of the diseases. Unfortunately in some areas this accounts for all the hospital beds, leaving no room for those with other needs.
At a time when the Greek health care system is in crisis the return of these eradicated diseases poses a considerable health threat.