Date: Sun, 28 Jul 2019 18:39:43 +0200

Athens, July 28, 2019 (AFP) - An earthquake jolted Athens on Sunday although there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.   According to early reports from the Greek Geodynamic Institute, the 4.2-magnitude quake's epicentre was 23 kilometres (14 miles) northwest of Athens.   It is believed to have been an aftershock of the strong tremor that hit the city on July 19, knocking out phone and cellphone service.

According to the institute, that tremor was a 5.1-magnitude quake with an epicentre 23 kilometres (14 miles) northwest of the Greek capital.    There is "no reason for  concern. It is a normal aftershock of the 5.1 quake," the institute's director Akis Tselentis told Athens News Agency.   Scientists had said they were expecting an 4.0-magnitude aftershock.

Greece lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes, but they rarely cause casualties.   In 2017, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake killed two people on the island of Kos in the Aegean sea, causing significant damage.   In 1999, a 5.9-magnitude quake left 143 people dead in Athens and the region northwest of the capital.
Date: Thu 25 Jul 2019
Source: Xinhua [edited]

The number of people infected by the West Nile virus in Greece has risen to 10, the National Public Health Organization (NPHO) announced on Thursday [25 Jul 2019].

According to NPHO, 5 cases were recorded in only the past 5 days, while the 1st confirmed case was in late June [2019]. There [have been] no deaths linked to the virus so far.

It noted that the patients were all over 50 years old. The cases were reported in areas of northern Greece, while the Attika region was just added to the list.

The virus is reported to use wild birds as a main reservoir and was passed to humans via mosquito, rather than from or between infected humans.

Greek experts advised the public to take precautions against mosquitoes. The higher risk group that may exhibit more symptoms [includes] elderly people, patients with a suppressed immune system, and those with chronic illness.

In 2018, a record of 316 people were infected by the virus in the country, resulting in 50 fatal cases.
ECDC update
Date: Thu 25 Jul 2019
Source: ECDC [edited]

Between [19 and 25 Jul 2019], 7 human cases [of West Nile virus; WNV] have been reported in Greece (5), Italy (1) and Romania (1). All cases are reported from areas that have had human cases reported in the previous transmission seasons. Romania reported one death this week.

Additionally, during the same period, no equine outbreak of WNV has been reported to the Animal Disease Notification System.

Since the beginning of the 2019 transmission season and as of [25 Jul 2019], 13 human WNV infections have been reported in EU Member States and EU neighbouring countries by Greece (10), Romania (2) and Italy (1). One death has been reported by Romania so far.

In addition, 2 equine outbreaks have been reported in Greece to the Animal Disease Notification System.
[The West Nile virus activity is on the rise with a number of cases reported from Greece and also from Romania and Italy. Keeping in view the high number of cases detected in 2018, continued viral, animal and entomological surveillance can help in planning and implementation of preventive and control measures. - ProMED Mod.UBA]

[HealthMap/ProMED-mail map:
Greece: <>]
Date: Thu, 11 Jul 2019 09:48:53 +0200

Thessaloniki, Greece, July 11, 2019 (AFP) - Fierce storms have killed six tourists and injured dozens of people in northern Greece, authorities said on Thursday.   Strong winds and hail hit the popular tourist Halkidiki region, near the city of Thessaloniki, late on Wednesday.   Television footage showed overturned cars, fallen trees, torn roofs and mudslides.

The freak storm only lasted about 20 minutes, according to witnesses interviewed by state television ERT.   "It was an unprecedented phenomenon," said Charalambos Steriadis, head of civil protection in northern Greece.   "Six tourists were killed and at least 30 people were injured during this cyclone," Steriadis said.   Officials have declared a state of emergency.   The storm overturned and ripped open a caravan occupied by a Czech family on a local beach, killing an elderly couple and injuring their son and grandson.   Elsewhere in the region, a Russian man and his son were killed by a falling tree.

A woman from Romania and her child died when the roof of a tavern caved in, police said, while dozens of people were dining.   "I want to express my sorrow on behalf of all... We mourn for the loss of these souls," said Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis, who is overseeing operations in the area.   "We are in solidarity with their relatives, with the people who have lost their families," he added.   According to port police, a fisherman in his sixties was also missing.

The freak weather also knocked out power in the area, with army crews working to restore services.   At least 140 rescue workers were involved in the operation, emergency chief Vassilis Varthakoyannis said.   Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who took over Sunday after general elections, cancelled his meetings to address the disaster, his office said.   The storms came after temperatures in Greece soared to 37 degrees centigrade (98 degrees Fahrenheit) over the past two days.
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:38:23 +0200

Athens, April 17, 2019 (AFP) - A lightning strike injured four people Wednesday at the Acropolis in Athens, the ambulance service said.   The bolt hit two tourists and two Greeks working at a ticket booth at the site, said an ambulance service official.   The two tourists, a Korean man and a Scandinavian woman, both under 30, suffered light injuries and would be able to leave hospital after checks, the official added.

The Acropolis itself suffered no damage, a culture minister spokeswoman told AFP.   Sitting in the historic centre of Athens, the Temple of Parthenon on the rock of the Acropolis dates back to the classical period of antiquity -- the 5th century Before Christ. It is one of the most-visited tourist sites in the world.   Athens has been hit by several violent storms in recent days.
Date: Sat 10 Nov 2018
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]

Greek health officials have reported 9 autochthonous non-_Plasmodium falciparum_ malaria cases since August [2018].

Case investigation of the 9 introduced cases (8 _P. vivax_ and one non-_P. falciparum_) showed:
- 1 _P. vivax_ case with probable exposure at the municipal unit of Tichero, municipality of Soufli, regional unit (RU) of Evros, with onset of symptoms the week of 20-26 Aug 2018;
- 1 _P. vivax_ case with probable exposure at the municipal unit of Feres, municipality of Alexandroupoli, RU of Evros, with onset of symptoms in the week of 13-19 Aug 2018;
- 7 cases (6 _P. vivax_ and 1 non-_P. falciparum_) with probable exposure at the municipal unit of Echedoros, municipality of Delta, RU of Thessaloniki, with onset of symptoms of the patients within the weeks of 15 Sep-10 Oct 2018. All cases of this cluster are considered introduced, that is, 1st generation transmission from an imported case (as the time interval between symptom onset of the cases was limited, within 3 weeks).

In 2018, 47 total malaria cases have been reported in Greece as of late October [2018], with the remainder being imported (37) or unclassified (1).

Among the 37 imported cases, 23 were immigrants from malaria endemic countries (17 from the Indian subcontinent and 6 from Africa) and 14 cases were travellers (from Africa).

Greece was declared free from malaria in 1974. However, since 2009 a number of locally acquired/introduced _P. vivax_ malaria cases have been recorded in various areas of the country (that is, among patients without travel history to a malaria endemic country), mainly as sporadic introduced cases but also in clusters (in 2011-2012).
[Greece experienced an outbreak of autochthonous _P. vivax_ malaria in 2011-2012; see the ProMED posts below. The malaria was introduced by farm workers from southeast Asia and the transmission was interrupted by case and contact tracing and finally mass drug administration (ProMED 23 Nov 2015 Malaria - Greece: P. vivax, mass drug administration: ProMED will be happy to post further information. - ProMED Mod.EP]

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