Patra man is third victim of West Nile virus this summer

An elderly man from Patra has become the third person in Greece to die after contracting the West Nile virus this summer.

Authorities said that 44 people have been infected with the disease, which is carried by mosquitoes, but 41 have recovered.

Health officials have banned residents of sixteen districts in greater Athens from donating blood in a bid to avert the spread of the virus, which can cause encephalitis.

Similar measures have been imposed in Evia, Samos, Naoussa and Thessaloniki.

The West Nile virus was discovered in 1937 in Uganda. Sporadic cases of the disease in humans have occurred in Europe since the 1960s. It was first detected in Greece in 2010, when 262 people contracted the disease, 35 of whom died.