Dengue fever makes deadly comeback in Greece
An elderly Greek man has died from complications of dengue fever, marking a reappearance of the mosquito-borne disease 85 years after its eradication from Greece, officials said Tuesday.
The man in his 80s, from Agrinio in western Greece, died August 30 of haemorrhagic fever while in hospital in Patras, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.
Dengue fever, a viral disease, had been wiped out since an epidemic hit Greece in 1927-28.
But health officials across Europe have in recent years been on the lookout for a recurrence of the disease because of the increasing presence of the Asian tiger mosquito, capable of spreading dengue fever and other tropical diseases in temperate Europe.
Greek officials first spotted the bug in 2003 and it has gained a foothold in about 20 European countries over the last decade or so, mainly in Mediterranean countries but also in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Health officials said they would send a medical team to the Agrinio region to see if it is worth spreading insecticides.
Several cases of dengue fever were reported in Croatia and France in 2010.
The Asian tiger mosquito can also carry West Nile virus, and Greek authorities called on residents to take anti-mosquito measures after a limited outbreak in the Athens suburbs this year.
(c) 2012 AFP