Ministry slammed for late reaction to West Nile virus


Health authorities in Greece came under fire on Friday for their delayed response to the spread of the West Nile virus, which has claimed 17 lives so far.

In a statement, the Athens Medical Association (ISA) criticized Public Health General Secretary Yiannis Baskozos for giving an “urgent order” just yesterday for ground-level and aerial spraying to contain mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in the Central Macedonia region.

“Seventeen people had to lose their lives, hundreds had to be infected and travel warnings had to issued regarding Greece at the peak of the tourism season, for the Health Ministry to finally realize the seriousness of the problem and take action,” ISA said in a statement.

A timely anti-mosquito campaign would also have limited the environmental impact, the association added, urging authorities to include Attica in the bug-killing mission.