Surveillance and outbreak reports Open Access
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Malaria, which was endemic in Greece in the past, was officially eliminated in 1974. Since that time and up to 2010, a number of imported cases (ranging from 19 to 76) have been annually reported. The total number of reported laboratory-confirmed cases between 1975 and 2010 was 1,419. Plasmodium falciparum was identified in 628 (44%) of these cases, while P. vivax was found in 524 (37%). Of the total cases, 1,123 (79%) were male (ratio males vs. females: 3.78). Age was only available for 490 cases, of which 352 (72%) belonged to the 18–40 year-age group. Of the 382 malaria cases reported from 1999 to 2010 for which the region/country of acquisition was known, 210 (55%) were from Africa and 142 (37%) from Asia. The massive introduction of economic migrants, in the period from 1990 to 1991 and from 2006 onwards, mainly from countries where malaria is endemic, resulted in the appearance of introduced sporadic cases. In Peloponnese, Central and East Macedonia, Thrace and East Attica, mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles (e.g. Anopheles sacharovi, A. superpictus and A. maculipenis) that can act as plasmodia vectors are abundant and during the summer of 2011, 27 P. vivax cases were reported in Greek citizens residing in the agricultural area of Evrotas in Lakonia and without travel history. As further P. vivax malaria cases occurred in the Lakonia and East Attica areas in 2012, it is becoming urgent to strengthen surveillance and perform integrated mosquito control that will help eliminate the potential risk of malaria reintroduction and reestablishment.


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