Public Health

The West Nile Virus

Ecodevelopment based on the its experience on mosquito control projects and also on its knowledge of global scientific “doing”, over the last few years from the beginning of the first case of West Nile Virus, has done as much as possible to prevent the spread of the disease aiming mainly at mosquito control in urban system, on actions as larviciding and adulticiding ULV in urban settlements where outbreaks of the disease occurred. The company is monitoring the global bibliography, it is in permanent contact with the most eminent scientists of the global scientific community, it is actively participating in global conferences with due diligence which are related with the subject making series of communications and it has already published six articles about WNV in the journal “To Digma”, starting in 1999.

In 2010, over the time since the first announcement of WNV occurrence and for the next crucial fortnight, Ecodevelopment installed CO² traps in villages with WNV outbreaks (10 traps/5 villages/every night). The next day, the identification of the mosquitoes at a level of species, the separation in groups of 25-50 individuals (Culex spp., Aedes spp., Anopheles spp.) and the transport of them to RCA (Reference center for Arboviruses, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki) followed. In this way, in a week, West Nile Virus detected in a sample of 50 adults Culex pipiens (detection of the WNV for the first time in Culex pipiens in Greece).

The years from 2010 to 2012, Ecodevelopment has implemented in total 276 applications of adulticiding to the most parts of Greece. From the winter of 2010 and until the autumn of 2015, Ecodevelopment in co-operation with the veterinary medicine school of AUTh undertook the epidemiological surveillance of West Nile Virus in sentinel-birds (pigeons, chickens). Over the period from November of 2010 until April of 2011, Ecodevelopment in co-operation with HCDCP, AUTh, NSPH, and ECDC was participated in the study performed in Regional Units of Pella and Imathia with subject «Epidemiological study of infection by WNV in Central Macedonia». The study funded through HCDCP

The Asian Tiger (Aedes albopictus)

The Asian “tiger mosquito” (Aedes albopictus) is a species of high public health significance insofar as it is potential vector of at least 24 arboviruses which are dangerous for human health. This species is extremely attracted by humans and except diseases’ transmission can cause high nuisance also during the day. It is considered responsible for the spread of the virus Chikungunya in Italy (Ravenna, 2006) with 151 cases and one dead. Today, this specie has been spread to many European countries, Mediterranean and non-Mediterranean, where probably was transported by the trade used tyres, which are preferable oviposition sites for this specie.

In Greece, it was recorded for the first time in 2004, in Corfu and since then it has been spread in whole country. Our company from the year 2000, with its articles in the journal “the Digma” has noted the danger of installation of this specie across the country. This specie has its own specific features in controlling due to:

  • It is spreading successfully to new areas by means of transport and trade
  • It is dispersed locally in a small radius of 200-500 meters
  • It is breeding in small ponds means that are difficultly located
  • It is also active during the day

Therefore, it cannot be controlled with a “conventional” mosquito control project which includes periodical spraying of apparent standing waters, while at the same time it requires high scientific knowledge, technical and occupational specialisation and communicative skills.