The Greek Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) has informed about a recent case of autochthonous Plasmodium vivax malaria.
On 22 June 2012, a case of locally acquired malaria infection was reported in Greece. The case is a 78 year old Greek citizen who presumably acquired the infection close to Marathon, Attica region; onset of symptoms was around 7 June. Laboratory investigation revealed Plasmodium vivax, confirmed by molecular biology (PCR). The case reported no travel to an endemic country in the past 5 years. The Marathon area is a historical place of malaria transmission, combining humid zones and intensive agricultural activities. Climatic conditions are now considered favourable for local vector development. In 2011, an autochthonous case occurred in a nearby location.
According to Greek authorities, active screenings of neighbours and seasonal immigrants is carried out to detect malarial infection, and vector control measures are being implemented.
ECDC is currently reviewing the epidemiological and background information of this case in order to assess the level of risk for travellers. ECDC is consulting relevant international partners, in particular the Greek Health Authorities, WHO-EURO IHR team and US CDC, for a coordinated assessment.
Public health measures for Malaria control in Greece are described here.
Read the KEELPNO report.