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West Nile mosquito

West Nile virus kills 16 people in Greece, a total of 135 infections reported

Five more people died in the last days, increasing the death toll of  West Nile virus victims to sixteen.  A total of 135 infection cases have been reported from the begin of the mosquitoes season, Greece’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) said on Wednesday.

In its previous statement last week, KEELPNO had given the number of deaths as 11 and the total of infection cases as 107 until August 22.

Speaking to radio Praktoreio FM of Athens news agency, KEELPNO representative Danai Pervanidou said “unfortunately the spread of the virus is quite broad and infection cases have been detected in many municipalities, mainly in Attica and Central Macedonia.”

This year saw an early onset of the virus incidents due to high temperatures and heavy rainfalls in early summer.

“We are now in the peak of the infections, timely form mid-August to mid-September, while we expect new cases also in early October,” Pervenidou added.

She underlined that “80% of the people infected have no symptoms, 20% an virus-born contribution. Only 1% suffers encephalitis or meningitis and these are mainly elderly with other health problems.”

All the victims were above 70 years old.

In a statement issued on August 23rd, the KEELPNO has given the death toll as 11.

The West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes.

West Nile virus can cause a fatal neurological disease in humans. However, approximately 80% of people who are infected will not show any symptoms. West Nile virus is mainly transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes. via WHO

Mild symptoms are similar to flu with headaches, aching limbs and fever.

In worse cases, the Mosquito bite can cause encephalitis and meningitis.

Especially vulnerable are seniors and people with health problems.

At high risk are people with advanced age, organ transplantation and diabetes.

People in the infected areas are advised to use insect repellents or creams, wear long trousers and sleeves in light-colors and stay indoors at dawn and dusk.

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