Outbreak of West Nile virus with three casualties confirmed in Greece

09:02, August 10, 2010      

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Greek health authorities confirmed on Monday an outbreak of the West Nile virus in northern Greece which has caused the deaths of three elderly people.

Two women and one man have passed away since last Friday due to encephalitis, a severe inflammation of the brain. The results of laboratory tests that were announced on Monday show that the illness was caused by the rare virus which is transmitted by mosquitos.

There are 16 confirmed cases of people polluted by the virus in northern Greece over the past two weeks, said Anna Pappa, professor of Microbiology at the Medicine School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and head of the Virus Research Centre in Greece.

A dozen of them are hospitalized in hospitals in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, one in serious condition, while doctors examine whether other suspected cases are indeed connected with the virus.

West Nile virus can cause encephalitis and meningitis that could be fatal for almost a four percent of patients. Most people who are infected suffer from fever or other mild symptoms and quickly recover, without even rushing to doctors.

Outbreaks of the virus have been reported over the past 15 years across Europe and are connected with high temperatures.

Source: Xinhua


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