European Center for Disease Prevention and Control holds malaria forum

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control recently held a forum for malaria experts to discuss transmission risks on the continent and to propose preventative actions.

Recent indigenous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria confirmed in Greece provided the impetus for the meeting, which was held in Stockholm beginning on January 17. The malaria experts convened to recommend preparedness and response actions at the European Union and country level, according to the ECDC.

Public health experts in vector-borne diseases, entomologists, epidemiologists, vector control experts, and representatives from the World Health Organization and the EU commission were also present.

During the meeting's first day, a detailed overview of the latest malaria transmission data in Europe was discussed, including a full review of the epidemiological situation and a risk assessment of local transmission information.

The experts paid particular attention to the possible causes that could explain why Greece has seen an upsurge in cases of the illness over the past three years.

The second and final day of the meeting centered on preparedness, response and control efforts aimed at high-risk countries in the EU. Specifically, the experts began the development of an integrated response plan for Greece that was originally recommended in autumn 2011.