Warm winter, rainfall raise West Nile virus concerns

A mild winter and long spells of rain have raised fears of a reappearance of West Nile virus, which claimed 35 lives last summer.

Georgios Konstantos, a public health expert at the Attica Regional Authority in charge of spraying, told Kathimerini that his department started spraying in early April in order to curb mosquito numbers ahead of the summer.

However, he said municipalities have been slow in getting started and expressed concern over what this could mean if temperatures spike over the next few weeks, quickening the incubation period of mosquito larva.

“The problem in urban areas is huge,” he said. “Every culvert and drain needs to be sprayed because this is the kind of environment where the culex mosquito, which is responsible for West Nile virus, breeds.”

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