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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-05-19

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Swine flu mobilisation

  • [01] Swine flu mobilisation

    The government announced on Tuesday that there was no alarm, nor complacency, following the confirmation late Monday night of the first case of swine flu in Greece, during a press conference following an emergency meeting, with the relevant minister stressing that there was no cause for alarm and that the ministry and health services are well prepared.

    Health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said the first case of the H1N1 virus, in a 19-year-old Greek student recently returned from the United States, was confirmed Monday night by the Pasteur Institute in Athens after carrying out a second round of tests to confirm the first results.

    Avramopoulos announced that precautionary measures were being extended, adding that, apart from the existing negative pressure chambers in the Sismanoglio and Sotiria hospitals in Athens and the AHEPA hospital in Thessaloniki, additional wards are currently being set up at the Children's Hospital and the Elena maternity hospital in Athens, and the University Hospital on Crete, while, in view of the summer, further such chambers would be in operation in Larissa, Ioannina, Alexandropoulis, and the islands of Corfu and Rhodes, while 200 staff members would be hired for the negative pressure chambers.

    The student, who is in the Sismanoglio Hospital in Athens, was studying in New York, and the symptoms appeared a few hours after his arrival in Athens, Avramopoulos explained, elaborating that the patient had mild systems and was in excellent spirits. He added that the young man was in the Sismanoglio's negative pressure chamber only for precautionary reasons, and would remain there for seven more days.

    Also, the results of the first tests on the patient's family and friends were negative for H1N1, while a further 16 people who were seated in the immediate vicinity of the student on the airplane will also be tested.

    Avramopoulos noted that the student was informed of the 'new flu' by the ministry's informational leaflets passed out at Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (AIA), adding that the young man drove himself to the Sismanoglio Hospital after ascertaining symptoms resembling those of the 'new flu'.

    An official of the Epidemiology Monitoring Centre said that more incidents should be expected, mainly among travellers, as Greece was a popular destination internationally. He did not rule out that, epidemiologically, Greece could find itself in a similar situation as the US was in today, but clarified that in the US the death rate was very low and the situation was under complete control.

    On a vaccine being developed against the new flu, the official said that the first stage of tests has been completed and, if all goes well, the first batch of the vaccine should be ready in early October.

    Caption: Health minister Dimitris Avramopoulos at a press conference on Tuesday 18 May on swine flu. ANA-MPA /PANTELIS SAITAS

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