West Nile fatalities rise to 5 as virus spreads to Athens


The number of deaths from the West Nile virus has risen to five, it emerged on Thursday as the Center for Disease Prevention and Control (KEELPNO) confirmed that a total of 77 cases of the infection have been recorded in Greece since the beginning of the summer, 17 in the past week. 

The death toll rose following the deaths of two people, both aged over 70, in the past two weeks. 

The virus, which is carried by infected mosquitoes, has also spread geographically, with cases reported in 33 municipalities, including the municipality of Athens.

The virus has also infected people in Viotia, Halkidiki, Thessaloniki, Evia, Imathia, Pella, Corinth, Kilkis and Rethymno on Crete. In most cases, those infected have suffered problems with their central nervous system – mainly forms of encephalitis or meningitis.

The national federation of Greek hospital workers has accused authorities of “indifference” in response to the rise in cases of the virus.