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Malaria - Greece ? 2013 (ECDC/CDTR, November 22 2013)

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  • Malaria - Greece ? 2013 (ECDC/CDTR, November 22 2013)

    [Source: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), full PDF document: (LINK). Extract.]


    Week 47, 17-23 November 2013


    Malaria - Greece ? 2013

    Opening date: 20 November 2013

    Epidemiological summary

    On 16 November 2013, the Greek Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (KEELPNO) reported three autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria in the country.

    Two cases were reported from the municipality of Alexandroupolis (Regional Unit Evros) and one case from Sofades (Regional Unit Karditsa).

    The cases had onset of symptoms in weeks 39 (23-29 September 2013), 43 (21-27 October 2013) and 44 (28 October ����3 November 2013) respectively.

    An additional 17 imported cases have been reported in 2013, 10 among immigrants from malaria endemic countries and seven among Greek travellers.

    Of the imported cases, eight were Plasmodium vivax infections and nine were due to Plasmodium falciparum .


    ECDC assessment

    In Greece, locally acquired cases of malaria have been occurring since 2009, with the highest number reported in 2011 when 42 autochthonous Plasmodium vivax cases were notified affecting five different Regional Units.

    A substantial decrease of locally acquired cases was observed in 2012, with 20 autochthonous Plasmodium vivax cases reported, following implementation of public health measures, such as systematic proactive and reactive case detection, strengthening of the surveillance system and improving the diagnosis capacity of malaria.

    Malaria in Greece occurs in well-defined agricultural areas which were known receptive areas for the disease, particularly in Evrotas municipality (Regional Unit Lakonia).

    Likewise, the three cases from 2013 are reported from similar agricultural areas where immigrants from malaria endemic countries reside and work.

    The occurrence of autochthonous Plasmodium vivax cases in these areas in 2013 is therefore not unexpected.

    The current risk for malaria infection in Greece is to persons residing and/or working in the affected areas of Greece.

    The risk for travellers is considered to be low since all areas from where malaria is currently reported are agricultural rather than areas which attract tourists.

    The use of standard mosquito biting prevention measures continues to be recommended. Moreover, as the malaria transmission season is coming to an end, the risk will decrease even further.