A day after a pensioner was hospitalized with symptoms of West Nile virus in Palaio Faliro, southern Athens, medical experts are warning citizens to take action to ward off mosquitoes, which can carry the disease, while local authorities are to start spraying areas regarded as ?high-risk.?
According to Sotiris Tsiodras of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO), the fact that the 67-year-old woman who contracted the virus was infected in an area previously regarded as safe indicates that mosquitoes carrying the virus could be moving into urban areas with features that favor their breeding, such as streams and still water.
Tsiodras advised citizens to use mosquito repellent on their skin and to spray their homes as well using protective nets on windows and not leaving vases and other receptacles containing water outside their homes. Dimitris Katsikaris, the deputy regional governor for the Saronic Islands, including nearby Salamina, said the process of spraying areas under his jurisdiction with special pesticides would begin this week.