Brit tourists warned about to travelling to Greece after deadly disease outbreak

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Holidaymakers travelling to Greece this summer are being warned to take extra precautions against a mosquitoes as they carry a killer virus.

Around 50 people died last year and now the Foreign Office  has updated their travel warnings for British visitors to the Mediterranean country.

The mainland and the nearby island of Cyprus have an outbreak of the West Nile virus.

Greek health officials have also warned about the potential risks of the disease.

The illness causes typical fever symptoms such as headaches , and general aches and pains, but in severe cases it can prove fatal.

The foreign office is warning travellers to take precautions and cover up at dusk

 

West Nile virus is believed to be transmitted by mosquitoes after feeding on the infected blood of wild birds.

Danai Pervanidou, from the Greek public health organisation Keelpno said: “There have been enough cases to know that this is now a public health issue.

“The virus has established itself in Greece through migratory birds and we are recommending that everyone takes personal protective measures such as wearing long sleeves, avoiding places with stagnant water and using mosquito nets and repellent.

“Just as in winter when we expect an outbreak of influenza, in summer we now have to expect cases of West Nile fever. We have to be prepared.”

Greece mainland and nearby Corfu are affected

 

More than 300 people were infected last year, resulting in the deaths of 50 Greek citizens. 

The UK Foreign Office echoes the advice and says: “You should consider preventative measures to minimise exposure to mosquitoes, for example using mosquito repellent when outdoors and closing doors or windows or using screens.

“Visit the  National Travel Health Network and Centre website  for more information about the transmission season and advice for travellers.”

As one of the most visited European destinations in the world, authorities are working to control the infection outbreak.

Awareness-raising programmes for medical professionals have been stepped up with information leaflets distributed to airports, the Guardian reports.

Greece is not alone in the West Nile virus outbreak. Neighbouring Italy, Romania and Serbia have seen an increase of the virus being reported.

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