Public health Agency Update – 01 September 2010
An outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV) on the Greek mainland has been confirmed by public health authorities in Greece. More than 100 cases have been confirmed in the periphery of Central Macedonia (Northern Greece), including nine deaths. These are the first human cases of WNV to be reported from Greece.
Most (80%) of those infected with WNV have no symptoms at all, and 20% have a mild influenza-like illness (fever, headache, body ache), sometimes with swollen lymph glands or a rash on the chest, stomach and back. However, a small proportion (less than 1%, about one in 150 people infected) develop more severe disease resulting in meningitis or inflammation of their brain.
Travellers to areas where there is WNV activity should be aware of the risk and take appropriate steps to avoid mosquito bites.
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