First Greek West Nile victim this year is pensioner with heart problems

An 81-year-old man became the first Greek this year to die after being infected with the West Nile virus, reports said on Wednesday as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) advised health authorities to be on standby for other possible cases.

The 81-year-old, who is said to have suffered from serious heart problems, reportedly died on Sunday at his home in Porto Rafti.

A total of 35 cases of the virus have been reported this year, most of them in Attica.

The West Nile virus is carried by birds and spread to humans by mosquitoes.

KEELPNO has been running a public awareness campaign to encourage better protection against mosquitoes, which arrived earlier and in greater numbers this year following an unusually warm spring.