With the death toll from the spread of the West Nile virus in Greece rising this week to 17, the Athens Medical Association (ISA) is urging authorities to draft an emergency action plan to deal with what it describes as a growing threat to public health.
Expressing concern over the number of reported cases (133), the ISA called on the Health Ministry and the Attica Regional Authority to work with experts and local authorities to deal with the virus’s spread which, it said, is having a financial cost, as it is also impacting the tourism industry.
ISA said the country has been left “defenseless” and that health authorities must launch a campaign to raise public awareness and promote individual protection measures.
ISA chairman Giorgos Patoulis took a swipe at state authorities for being slow off the mark in tackling the problem.
“Unfortunately, once again, the competent authorities have not risen to the occasion and are now being urged to take belated measures to address the consequences of their inability to draft a credible national public health policy,” he said.
He added that Greece has “paid the the price of this incompetence with the loss of human lives.”