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Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

Yorkshire Dales
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Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

I'd like to see the actual case numbers before I was convinced there was a real problem.

telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/greece…

Edited: 23 October 2012, 07:41
Yorkshire Dales
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1. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

It's a bit vague......10% of 70 cases in 9 months is only 7 cases!!!!! They don't say how serious these cases were either and to say that visitors to the 'worst hit area around Evrotas should take antimalarial pills seems to a bit of an over reaction.

How many cases were in Evrotas and what is the 'norm' for cases of malaria in Greece anyway? I would have thought that in a climate like Greece's, malaria would crop up occasionally anyway.

What do our Greek friends think about this?

Edited: 23 October 2012, 07:53
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2. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

Article exaggerates reality on an existent problem.

Diseases having to with mosquitoes are not uncommon in Europe and the Western World in general.

In fact the first outbreak of West Nile fever took place in the United States, in New York ( ! ) in 1999. West Niles is observed in outbreaks that last some years and covers extensive areaswhile outbreaks like this have been observed in all the states of the USA excepty Alaska and Hawaii, Australia and ALL European countries from the North Sea and lower, including France, Italy, Germany and all other countries, Greece too yes.

This year, there was a outbreak of West Nile didease in the United Staes, in eight Southern States, with most of the incidents in Texas and 183 fatalities. I have a hard time to believe that Texas, one of the richest states in the US is not foolowing spraying protocols.

Information from CDC www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

So,what the article miserably fails to show is that this is not a Greece related incident but one apperaing to all countries where mosquitoes are. Last piece of news i have read regarding Greece is that we had appx. 35 fatalities in 2012 on a population of 9,000,000. State of Texas, had 183 fatalities on a population of 25,000,000.

So, basically state of Texas in the US had 2 times more severe outburst of this disease in 2012 than Greece.

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About malaria: I am not absolutely sure but i think the article is wildly wrong.

We had a vertical raise of cases of malaria patients in financial immigrants that arrive through the Turkish border. Many of them do have malaria, carrying it from there countries, since many of them arrive through South / Central Asia countries where this is a problem.

As far as i know ( i am not a doctor ) we have no malaria incidents in the genral population.

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Regarding spraying:

Very very ambigyous. We have to keep in mind that spraying is considered the only option to restrain these diseases. Spraying is done with DDT, a highly toxic substance and can affect food chain. In many cases, mosquitoes do get over the DDT by building immunity on it and then, humanity has no other medicine to fight the mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes were more evident this summer, even in downtown Athens since it was a very humid summer. They were not everywhere but from the time we could see none, you could see 1 - 2 of them chasing overnight.

I know no more about spraying in Athens and, in a weird way, i hope we don't spary but use other methods.

--------------------

So:

West Nile virus is an issue but in many countries or areas. It was two times more severe in Texas this year, but i guess it did not make first page news over there :) Greece sells.

Malaris is a problem but not endemic. It is monitored in patients / immigrants arriving from NE Asia countries.

That's it :) A bit of an inaccurate article, mixing bits of reality here and there with Greece's fiscal problems. Greece sells and newspapers will write anything they can to sell. If fiscal problems were related to this, we could easily assume that Texas has fiscal problems too ;)

Yorkshire Dales
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3. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

I keep re-reading this and it doesn't make sense.

They say>>>>> Greece has experienced the first domestic cases of malaria since 1974<<<<<

Surely this can't be right and they mean the first recorded 'serious' case. Being where it is geographically and with so many visitors from elsewhere, there must have been more 'less serious' unreported cases!

Yorkshire Dales
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4. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

Ah Nick, you posted whilst I was still pondering this. I will read your post now and try to make some sense out of this article..... :O)

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5. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

Just to correct something in my post #2

<In fact the first outbreak of West Nile fever **in the Western World ** took place in the United States, in New York ( ! ) in 1999.>

Edited: 23 October 2012, 08:14
Yorkshire Dales
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6. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

Very interesting Nick and I fully expected that the amount of migrants entering Greece might have influenced the numbers.

With regard to DDT. I grew up in the middle and near east with that lethal stuff being sprayed everywhere......It's a wonder I survived it!

I have just found this by the WHO (entry dated 18th Sept this year)...........It would seem to contradict that article. :O)

…who.int/en/…malaria

Edited: 23 October 2012, 08:35
Yorkshire Dales
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7. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

In case anyone is interested...........From Wikipedia

>>> Approximately 80% of West Nile virus infections in humans are subclinical, which cause no symptoms. In the cases where symptoms do occur – termed West Nile fever in cases without neurological disease – the time from infection to the appearance of symptoms (incubation period) is typically between 2 and 15 days. Symptoms may include fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle pain or aches, malaise, nausea, anorexia, vomiting, myalgias and rash. Less than 1% of the cases are severe and result in neurological disease when the central nervous system is affected.>>

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8. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

WNV has been proliferating over the last decade, to such an extent that the UK blood services have in the past either deferred potential donors who have recently visited (in the summer months) affected areas of the US, or tested the blood for WNV before allowing it to be used for a patient. Incidentally, the same applies for anyone who has recently visited an area where malaria is endemic, which to my knowledge doesn't include anywhere in Europe ;).

http://www.blood.co.uk/pdf/malaria.pdf

Whilst a serious disease for those affected, the effects of WMV pale into (almost) insignificance when compared with the effects of malaria. While climate change and various other factors will undoubtedly change the areas affected, and the number of unexplained cases according to the article is very low at perhaps 10 a year or so, this could become an important issue in the future if not addressed now.

It is also worth pointing out that there are cases in the UK from time to time in people with no travel history - often explained by the fact that they live close to airports, andt heir infections are caused by mosquitoes escaping from incoming long-haul planes.

Yorkshire Dales
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9. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

Morning Steve.

I wasn't actually making light of it and ofcourse we must all, individually, be careful to protect ourselves from these diseases as much as we can. I also expect the authorities in all countries to try to contain/eliminate mossies as much as they can.

My original point was that the article was perhaps a little alarmist and over the top.

It does seem that DDT resistant strains of mossie are on the increase and many articles on that subject suggest that the over/inappropriate use of the chemical is to blame.

I don't know what the answer is to control them and there has been references in the press to suggest that here in the UK, recent higher temperatures have contributed to an increase in their numbers.

We even had them up here in t'North this Summer. :O(

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10. Re: Is this right or simply more scare-mongering?

Here is the travel notice in the CDC website: …cdc.gov/travel/…malaria-greece-sept-2012.htm

Some of the islands I visit have a mosquito problem, and I use DEET and wear long sleeves, etc in the evenings simply because I don't like the itching resulting from mossie bites, and not because I am concerned about the possibility of contracting malaria. I have taken antimalarial drugs when travelling in Africa and India, but wouldn't dream of using them in Greece.