Aerial spraying for West Nile virus begins Thursday in Brooklyn

Henrietta Brewer
June 21, 2019

To prevent getting bitten by an infected mosquito, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers, and remove standing water, officials added. More than 300 people were infected with the mosquito-born virus in the Mediterranean hotspot previous year - and there is no vaccine.

Health warnings have been issued in Greece following the rise of West Nile virus in the country.

A week after the Foreign Office took the step of including the insects among the potential perils of travel to Greece, health officials are urging holidaymakers to take precautions against West Nile virus following an unprecedented outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease previous year.

With the country poised this year to receive 31 million visitors - nearly three times its population - steps are being rigorously enforced to control infection outbreaks.

Speaking to The Guardian, Danai Pervanidou, head of The Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Keelpno), offered some advice for people travelling to the holiday hot spot this year.

"Personal protective measures to reduce the risk of mosquito bites include the use of mosquito repellent in accordance with instructions indicated on the product label and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants".

Amid rising official concern, the U.S. embassy in Athens has issued a health alert urging citizens to take preventive measures, from cleaning up mosquito breeding areas to keeping grass and shrubs trimmed.

"The vaccine to prevent West Nile Virus in horses is highly effective and should be administered at least three weeks prior to exposure to mosquitoes carrying WNV", said Hughes.

Most people who get WNV display no symptoms and the infection usually goes away without treatment.

Around 20 percent of those infected will suffer flu-like symptoms, while one in 150 will have a more severe reaction, such as meningitis and even seizures.

Previous year a record 316 people in Greece were infected.

The region's health department has started West Nile virus surveillance and control activities for the 2019 season.

"This is the time of year we expect West Nile virus-positive mosquitos to be found in Idaho", says Dr. Christine Hahn, Division of Public Health Medical Director. The department said West Nile virus is contracted from the bite of an infected mosquito and is not spread from person-to-person through casual contact.

The health department has said that to date, there is no record of any other case of chikungunya in Valencia.

Other reports by iNewsToday