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Health

Greek Epidemiologist Warns of Dangerous Dengue Fever Epidemic in Europe

ATHENS – The mosquito-borne Dengue Fever that’s a tropical disease could become an epidemic in Europe because of climate change, Athens Medical School professor and epidemiologist Sotiris Tsiodras has warned.

Tsiodras, whose calm demeanor in announcing measures to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic in Greece made him a household figure, told a public health seminar that the Dengue Fever is alarming.

He noted that in South America every hospital bed has a mosquito net and that in Brazil, where the disease has increased by 450 percent in the last five years, there are plans to produce billions of mosquitoes infected with a special parasite that will prevent the transmission of the fever.

In the first months of 2024, he added, France, Italy and Spain have recorded a 250 percent increase in cases compared to the same period a year earlier and that climate change that world governments have failed to deal with is responsible.

dengue cases compared to the corresponding period in 2023, which has been attributed to climate change.

“I find it difficult to imagine that every bed in Greek hospitals will need its own mosquito net,” said Tsiodras, those institutions in many cases not even having toilet paper, toilet seats or enough staff and equipment.

He said that climate change, also blamed for 2023 deadly fires and floods in Greece, is allowing the faster spread of communicable diseases, especially by mosquitoes, water quality and quantity and food safety.

Academy of Athens Secretary-General Christos Zerefos said that an increase in drought indicators such as relative humidity in the air and soil has brought severe consequences in Greece and Spain, the Mediterranean especially affected.

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