Greece Tourists Warned Against Mosquitos Amid West Nile Virus
People visiting Greece on their holidays this summer are being warned to take extra care following the deaths of 50 people last year due a mosquito-borne virus.
The UK Foreign Office has updated their foreign travel advice for the Mediterranean country following an official warning about 'West Nile virus' by Greek health officials.
The virus is contracted in humans by mosquitos who have fed on the infected blood of wild birds.
There were more than 300 cases of the disease in the country last year, which includes symptoms similar to that of a fever such as headaches and pains.
The Foreign Office advise taking preventative measures such "using mosquito repellent when outdoors and closing doors or windows or using screens".
They advise that treatment facilities are good on the mainland but might be limited on the islands, which prove so popular with tourists.
They add the Grecian health service "lags behind" that of the UK and the ambulance service is "basic" and extremely limited on some islands.
Tourists who experience symptoms and are unable to get adequate health care should dial 112 or 166 and ask for an ambulance.
Danai Pervanidou, of Keelpno, the Greek organisation for health, said: "There have been enough cases to know that this is now a public health issue."
He added: "The virus has established itself in Greece through migratory birds and we are recommending that everyone takes personal protective measures such as wearing long sleeves, avoiding places with stagnant water and using mosquito nets and repellent.
"Just as in winter when we expect an outbreak of influenza, in summer we now have to expect cases of West Nile fever. We have to be prepared."
Of the 300 known cases of the disease, 50 Grecians died of it in 2018, which prompted the health warning.
For more information on foreign travel advise for visiting Greece, click here.
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