FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Three local cases of malaria reported in Greece

The Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported three local malaria cases through November 16, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Monday.

Two of the autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria occurred in the Evros region's Alexandroupolis municipality. The other case occurred in the Karditsa region's Sofades municipality. The onset of symptoms in the cases occurred between the end of September and the beginning of November.

The three autochthonous cases were reported from agricultural areas where immigrants from malaria-endemic countries live and work. The two Alexandroupolis municipality marked the first time since 2009 the municipality was affected with malaria. The municipality is a historical area of malaria transmission that shares epidemiological and environmental characteristics with other areas experiencing malaria transmission since 2009, including migrant workers from malaria-endemic countries living in the area and large wetlands and farms.

Greece also reported 17 confirmed cases of imported malaria. Ten of the cases occurred among immigrants from malaria-endemic countries. The other seven were among travelers to malaria-endemic areas.

Nine of the cases were Plasmodium falciparum malaria and eight of the cases were Plasmodium vivax malaria.

The ECDC said the current risk of malaria infection is restricted mostly to individuals working or living in the affected areas of Greece. The risk of malaria infection for tourists visiting Greece is considered very low.

The 2013 malaria transmission season is ending and the risk will decrease further going forward.