The number of Greeks who have contracted the West Nile virus has risen to 32, the centre for disease control and prevention said in a media statement cited by the Greek daily Kathimerini on August 13.
For the moment, the virus had not spread to Bulgaria, as the Health Ministry said it has not detected any cases of the West Nile virus in the country.
The ministry said earlier in the week that the deadly mosquitoes are the same in appearance as the regular ones. However, their development and reproduction cycle differs and „this is the reason for them not being spread on Bulgarian territory“.
A patient from the south-western Bulgarian town of Blagoevgrad near the Greek border was hospitalised late on August 11 at the Military Medical Academy in Sofia, suspected of being infected with the WNV.
The patient, a woman, is in a coma. She underwent a thorough medical examinations but so far there is no evidence to suggest that she had WNV.
South of the border however, only two days earlier, 21 people were diagnosed as having the illness. Most of those who have the virus were suffering from brain inflammation or meningitis but none were reported to be in critical condition, the report said. Two elderly people died in the past week after being bitten by mosquitoes carrying the virus and then suffering brain inflammation.
It was reported that the people died because of complications from other ailments.
The West Nile virus has been spreading in northern Greece and the infected have been hospitalised in the cities of Thessaloniki and Veria. Some of the infected have already recovered.
Authorities have announced that measures have been implemented to fight the deadly mosquitoes, including constant monitoring for new cases of encephalitis, and promoting increase of public awareness and ensuring the quality of donated blood, reports said.