On 7 and 10 July, the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) reported the first two human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Greece this year. When looking at the epidemiology of WNV infection in Greece since 2010, one can observe a progressive geographical expansion of WNV transmission throughout the country. For this reason, these newly confirmed cases in Athens do not come unexpected.
However, the fact that the transmission occurred early in the season and that, for the first time, the cases were reported from neighbourhoods in Athens, indicate the need for a focussed public health response. Such response mechanisms are currently implemented in Greece, including enhanced surveillance for human cases, entomological surveillance, and vector control.