NEWS

No risk of swine flu in Greece, gov’t says

The government yesterday stressed that there have been no cases of swine flu detected in Greece after the European Environment Commissioner was quoted mentioning Greece in a list of countries «under investigation» for possible outbreaks of the virus. «There has been not one outbreak in this country,» Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference. He was reacting to comments by Androula Vassiliou, the Cypriot commissioner for health matters, who was quoted by the BBC and other media as saying that suspected cases of the flu were being investigated in several European countries. She mentioned Greece, as well as Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Italy, the Czech Republic and Ireland. Avramopoulos clarified that six people had visited Greek hospitals of their own volition and been found to be clear of the virus. Two of those examined recently returned from a vacation in Mexico, where the flu broke out and has killed 149 people. The remainder were found to be suffering from a common cold. The minister added that Greek airports had been put on standby and that special heat sensors had been installed on the premises to detect passengers with unusually high body temperatures. Several hospitals have been supplied with the necessary medicines to treat anyone brought in with symptoms of swine flu. Speaking to Skai yesterday, Sotiris Tsiodras, an expert on infectious diseases, said there was no cause for alarm in Greece. «Like everywhere else in the world, there is concern but infection from person to person is only occurring in Mexico,» he said.