February 5, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Is Greece prepared for a monkeypox outbreak?

A new virus called “monkey pox” has caused alarm in Greece. Health authorities are on high alert, and citizens are concerned – the disease has already spread to 15 countries around the world.

So far, no case has been confirmed in Greece, first suspicious was determined to be chickenpox, reports ΕΟΔΥ.

Following the results of sample testing announced Sunday evening British tourist experts say it’s too early to rejoice. Given the tourist season and the massive movement of citizens, it’s safe to say that it’s only a matter of time before monkeypox gets to Greece. Tour operators at the same time emphasize:

“No one and nothing should stand in the way of the best summer of the decade.”

So it will be if we use the accumulated experience of the coronavirus pandemic wisely and use the established sanitary protocols. Only in this case, both tourists and their staff will be and feel completely safe. Basic security measures:

  • prompt response to suspicious cases;
  • strict observance of sanitary standards, especially in places where tourists are accommodated;
  • strict observance of the rules of personal hygiene (similar to pandemic ones);
  • quarantine for the infected.

The World Health Organization warns that due to the summer, a significant increase in the incidence is possible. Countries where monkeypox has been found are already taking action:

  • United Kingdom leads in the number of infected, there is even one child in the intensive care unit. The country is considering preventive quarantine for those who have been in contact with those who are ill or suspected of being infected.
  • Belgium announced that after the detection of three cases of monkeypox, they would be isolated for 3 weeks.
  • Mandatory indoor masks are returned to New York – there is already one confirmed and one suspected case.

European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) clarified the number of cases of monkeypox in the European Union: a total of 67 cases were registered in nine countries. The center’s message says:

“Unfortunately, there was a mistake in the press release for the Monkeypox Rapid Risk Assessment. It says that 85 cases were reported in eight countries, when the correct number should be 67 cases in nine countries.”

We are talking about cases recorded from May 15 to May 23 in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Austria has been added to this list in the updated release. Andrea Ammon, director of ECDC, says:

“Most of the current cases present with mild symptoms of the disease, and for the wider population, the chance of spread is very low. However, the likelihood of further spread of the virus through close contact, such as during sexual contact between individuals with multiple sexual partners, is considered high.”

Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, added:

“I am concerned about the increase in reported cases of monkeypox in EU and all over the world. We are monitoring the situation closely and while the likelihood of spread to the wider population is low at this time, the situation is evolving. We all need to remain vigilant, ensure contact tracing and proper diagnostics are in place, and make sure we have the vaccines, antivirals and personal protective equipment for healthcare workers that we need. We have been in close contact with Member States since the first reports of monkeypox cases in the EU and stand ready to actively support and coordinate the EU response with all the means at the EU’s disposal. The EU Health Security Committee will discuss monkeypox tomorrow.”

Additional instructions and recommendations will be given in the coming days to limit the spread of the disease. newsbeast.gr.

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