Health Professionals

Clinical Updates

5 November 2012

Malaria in Greece - update 2

 

Since the beginning of 2012, 16 locally acquired cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria have been reported in Greece. To date, there have been eight cases reported from the region of Peloponessos (Lakonia prefecture), four cases from the region of Attiki, one case from the region of Central Greece (Viotia prefecture), one case from the region of East Macedonia and Thrace (Xanthi prefecture) and as of 22 October 2012, two cases from the region of Thessaly (Karditsa prefecture). This is the first time that locally acquired P. vivax malaria has been reported from this prefecture[1].

View a map of areas affected by locally acquired malaria cases in Greece.

Greece was declared malaria-free in 1974, however sporadic cases have been reported annually since 2009 [1, 2]. The Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has responded to these cases by improving surveillance, implementing mosquito control measures in affected areas, and educating health care providers and the public.

Advice for travellers

 

The risk of malaria in travellers to these areas of Greece is low [3]. Other mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus also occur in Greece [4] and all travellers should take mosquito bite avoidance measures.

At the present time antimalarial tablets are not recommended for travellers to Greece.

NaTHNaC will continue to monitor the situation and post updates as further information becomes available.

Advice for health professionals

 

Health professionals who see febrile travellers from these areas of Greece should be alert to the possibility of malaria. An algorithm for the initial assessment and management of malaria in adults is available.

References

1. Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KE.EL.P.NO), Greek Ministry of Health. Epidemiological surveillance report: Malaria, 2012 (01/01/12 to 22/10/12). [In Greek]. [Accessed 5 November 2012]. Translation available at: http://www.keelpno.gr/Portals/0/Files/English%20files/Malaria

%20reports/Malaria_Report_EN_2012_10_22.pdf

2. NaTHNaC. Malaria: Prefectures of Lakonia (Peloponnese) and Evoia (Euboea), Greece – update. 2 November 2011. [Accessed 5 November 2012]. Available at: http://www.nathnac.org/pro/clinical_updates/greece_malaria1_

021111.htm

3. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.  Epidemiological update: Malaria risk to travellers in Greece remains low. 7 September 2012. [Accessed 5 November 2012]. Available at: http://tinyurl.com/8bxr3qq

4. NaTHNaC. West Nile virus (human): Greece. 19 October 2012. [Accessed 5 November 2012]. Available at: http://www.nathnac.org/pro/clinical_updates/greece_wnv

_191012.htm

Links

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet: Malaria

NaTHNaC Health Information Sheet: Insect and tick bite avoidance

Health Protection Agency: Malaria