Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease
Posted on Friday, 5 April 2013

Malaria in Greece: Historical and current reflections on a re-emerging vector borne disease Feature Article

Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, Volume 11, Issue 1, (January–February 2013), Pages 8-14
Kostas Danis, Annick Lenglet, Maria Tseroni, Agoritsa Baka, Sotiris Tsiodras, Stefanos Bonovas

Malaria in Greece: Historical and current reflections on a re-emerging vector borne disease

Between 2009 and September 2012, locally acquired cases of P. vivax infection were reported in Greece, mostly from the agricultural area of Evrotas, Lakonia (n = 48), but also sporadically from five other regions (n = 14), suggesting that conditions in these areas are favourable for local transmission of malaria. The risk of re-establishment of malaria in Greece will depend on whether the receptivity for disease transmission (presence of the mosquito vector and adequate ecological and climatic factors) and the vulnerability (importation of the parasite in human reservoirs or presence of infected mosquito vectors) continue to be present in the country. The continuous implementation of the integrated preparedness and response plan for malaria that covers all aspects from surveillance and laboratory diagnosis to vector control and the reorganization of public health infrastructures are necessary to prevent transmission and control the disease in the long term. However, the impact of the severe economic crisis on current health-care, public health infrastructures and vector control constitute a great challenge for the future. The current threat of renewed sustained local malaria transmission in Greece (and thus in continental Europe) merits an international response, including financial and technical support, from European and international stakeholders

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