With the summer holiday season just around the corner, British holidaymakers travelling to Greece are being warned of a potential West Nile virus outbreak. 300 cases of the mosquito-borne disease were reported in 2017, and 50 Greek nationals died.
The spread of West Nile virus is likely to occur between Spring and Autumn when mosquitos are most active. As well as Greece, reports of the virus have also increased in Italy, Cyprus, Romania and Serbia.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising British holidaymakers to take preventative measures when travelling to Greece, and other areas known for mosquito-borne diseases. As preventative measures, holidaymakers should ensure they are wearing insect repellent and keeping legs and arms covered when outside. Keeping windows closed or using screens is also advisable if you are indoors.
According to Travel Health Pro, there is no vaccine against the virus and most people do not display any symptoms which can include; headaches, joint pains, vomiting, fatigue, diarrhoea and rashes.
Most people recover after contracting West Nile virus, but the virus can be fatal. Those who are immunocompromised, over 50 or have an existing medical condition are at a higher risk of developing a more serious strain of the virus.
Holidaymakers that are concerned they have contracted West Nile virus should seek medical advice. Usually, any necessary treatment will be covered by travel insurance, but it is advised you speak to your insurer before seeking medical attention if possible.
It is believed Greece is taking preventative action against the virus, but holidaymakers should remain vigilant and take the necessary measure to protect themselves.