In the Rapid Risk Assessment ‘Update on autochthonous Plasmodium vivax malaria in Greece’ dated 5 October 2011, ECDC incorrectly referred to the distribution of malaria cases in Greek citizens and migrant workers. The correct formulation is: “Greece has reported thirty-six cases of Plasmodium vivax infection in 2011 to date, 20 of which have been in Greek citizens without travel to an endemic country.” This was corrected on 11 October 2011. ECDC would like to apologise for this error and any inconvenience caused.
Greece has reported 36 cases of Plasmodium vivax infection in 2011 to date, 20 of which have been in Greek citizens without travel history to an endemic country. Over eighty percent of these cases are associated with the area around Evrotas, located in Lakonia, in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece. This area (and four others currently reporting malaria cases) is agricultural and not usually associated with tourism.
The ECDC risk, as assessed on 23 August 2011, remains unchanged. The main risk is to persons residing in, visiting and working in the affected areas of Greece, particularly Evrotas in Lakonia. The risk for further extension of malaria transmission into the EU as a result of this event is considered low at present. EU national blood competent authorities should be considering whether to implement deferral measures for persons returning from these specific affected areas in Greece, taking into consideration measures currently implemented by the Greek blood safety authorities and after a considered risk assessment in collaboration with their national public health authorities.