Malaria returns to Greece following economic cuts

Funding cuts to mosquito control programs may be leading to a reemergence of malaria in economically shattered Greece.

Malaria was once considered to have been eliminated from Greece, but the disease has been detected in several cases in the country's south, according to

Many are blaming austerity plans that have eliminated many of the nation's anti-mosquito mosquito programs. Of 56 districts in Greece, only nine could afford to pay for annual pesticide spraying.

Global Health Organizations have begun to advise tourists of the potential for contracting malaria in the south of the country. They also said that Athens may soon be afflicted. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently began warning travelers that cases of malaria are being regularly confirmed.

"Some new cases have occurred in areas of Greece where malaria had not been previously reported," a CDC advisory said, reports. "Cases of malaria have been reported from the Attica, Karditsa, Laconia, Viotia, and Xanthi regions of Greece. Cases have occurred in the cities of Evrotas, Marathon, Markopoulo, and Selino."

The CDC advised that those wishing to visit Evrotas, the worst hit area, take anti-malaria medication with them.

"For a European country, letting this kind of situation develop and not controlling it is a big concern," Apostolos Veizis, Medecins Sans Frontiers's director of medical-operational support in Greece, said, Reuters reports. "You can't run after malaria. In a country in the European Union, we should not be running after a disease like this in emergency mode. Even in poorly-resourced countries in Africa, they have a national plan in place. What I expect from a country that is a member of the EU is at least that."