Zika virus spreading ‘explosively’, says World Health Organisation

Director general convenes emergency committee, saying ‘level of alarm is extremely high’ as virus has now been detected in more than 20 countries

 In the United States the rapidness of  “travel” spread of a bite virus that emerged from South Americas, has shocked specialists and the authorities .

Florida, Texas and southern California have mosquitoes that can spread Zika year-round, according to the medical journal Lancet. The Midwest and East Coast, including New York City, are at risk in the spring and summer, says the report. These areas are now considered “conducive to seasonal Zika virus transmission.” …

The direcor general of the WHO Chan said: “The level of alarm is extremely high. Arrival of the virus in some cases has been associated with a steep increase in the birth of babies with abnormally small heads.”

Chan outlined four reasons for alarm:

“First, the possible association of infection with birth malformations and neurological syndromes.

Second, the potential for further international spread given the wide geographical distribution of the mosquito vector.

Third, the lack of population immunity in newly affected areas.

Fourth, the absence of vaccines.”

This year’s el Niño weather patterns mean mosquito populations are expected to spread, Chan added. “

Lawrence Gostin, a public health law expert from Georgetown University, warned that Zika has an “explosive pandemic potential”.

“With the Rio Olympics on our doorstep I can certainly see this having a pandemic potential.”

He said every review of the WHO’s response to Ebola found that it was “too little, too late”.

Interviewed minutes before Chan’s announcement, he said: “I’m disappointed that the WHO has not been acting proactively. They have not issued any advice about travel, about surveillance, about mosquito control.”

“The very first thing I would propose is a global mosquito eradication effort, particularly in areas with ongoing Zika transmission. We really need to declare war on this species of mosquito.”

Zika is related to yellow fever and dengue. An estimated 80% of people that have it have no symptoms, making it difficult for pregnant women to know whether they have been infected.



There are two primary ways Zika virus—and all other mosquito-borne diseases—travels:

  • A mosquito carrying the virus catches a ride on a plane, or a ship;

  • A person incubating the virus travels to another area of the world and is bitten by a mosquito, which starts spreading the virus.

And that’s the creepy thing about ZIKA. Straightly from the carrier any “local” mosquito can transfer the infection to you

Travel Guidelines

Currently, the US Center for Disease Control has issued a Level 2 travel warning, asking to take “enhanced precautions” when travelling to 17 countries, and has confirmed at least a dozen Zika cases in the US.

Potentially, all areas of the world where Aedes mosquito is endemic are at risk.
Potentially, all areas of the world where Aedes mosquito is endemic are at risk. Zika virus can be spread by all Aedes mosquitos, though so far the Aedes Aegypti, has been the most effective carrier. The areas where the virus is likely to spread next are the US southeastern states of Florida, the Gulf Coast region, and possibly Texas, where Aedes Aegypti are endemic.

 Can the Zika virus be transmitted directly from person to person?

So far, research suggests that the virus can not be transmitted through contact from person to person (except for its capacity to infect fetuses through the placenta).

However, it should not be excluded.

In 2009, one case of probable sexual transmission from a man to a woman was recorded.


sources:  Zika virus spreading  ‘explosively’, says World Health Organisation | World news | The Guardian.

Zika: What is it and should you be worried about it?, quarz




the Greek Borders questioning

have a glance on our Greek Borders, #Aegean Borders Page, on Greek to me ! for all the updates on the Borders Control Crisis which the devastated Greece is now seriously facing, oblidged as well, first by its own borders, to keep safe the Gate to the West


Following Athens, Schengen pressure locks on Rome


For Rome it is has been made clear that if Schengen goes, Dublin goes

Italy’s preference on the matter is  clear, with Gentiloni saying that it is the Dublin convention that requires review, especially the clause which requires asylum-seekers coming into the EU to be processed in their country of arrival. This clause has made Italy and Greece the buffer zone for Europe, receiving all migrants heading from Asia and North Africa to Europe via Turkey and the Mediterranean.

via Following Athens, Schengen pressure locks on Rome.

We need Frontex in Greece, @imouzalas shout to EU ministers



Greek Immigration Minister Ioannis Mouzalas has angrily blamed European Union member states for failing to send Athens enough manpower and ships to help it tackle the migrant crisis and for not living up to pledges to relocate migrants, New Europe wrote .

Mouzalas told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting in Amsterdam that sending officers from the EU border protection force known as Frontex to neighbouring Former Yougoslav Republic of Macedonia in an attempt to halt migrants there would be illegal.

It has been suggested that EU border guards would be more effective on the Greek-Macedonian border, but Mouzalas said

sending them there is “not a good idea,” insisting: “We need Frontex in Greece.”

Mouzalas says Greece is doing all it can to protect its sea borders from boatloads of migrants heading from Turkey to nearby Greek islands, but has not been sufficiently helped by fellow EU members.

He says Athens wanted 1,800…

View original post 85 more words


What shall we do when the borders close?

The shock of a million foreigners has set European racists reeling. It has made bureaucratic machines crack and sputter. The micromanaging states of Europe want this disaster of irregularity, chaos and non-registration to end. Better a drowned refugee than a non-registered one. Better an imprisoned child than a smuggled one. Keep THEM in those white boxes and keep those white boxes in barbed-wire fences and have volunteers – registered, of course – keep refugees in line. Sort them by nationality, gender, age, vulnerability, take their fingerprints and check just HOW MUCH they suffered, because we don’t accept just anyone here, you know. Write their number on their hand, tag their fingernails, count the cups of soup they get, stamp their papers, give them thirty days to get to Level 2 or it’s Game Over. Then their journey begins again, and when they get here next time, the open camp will be a detention center, the food-distributor a prison guard, the registration will be for a flight back home. And where will we, the soup-cookers and clothes-distributors, be then?The incompetence of Greece and Europe has made people believe this can’t happen. But this is an illusory hope. Sure, Greece is incapable of managing registration, let alone keeping a million people detained. But Big Brother Europe has plenty of force to spare. Frontex-officials are coming to the islands like a plague of black locusts, gnawing apart nonconforming support structures, ridding the Balkan route of the insufficient Greek Coast Guard and insubordinate volunteers. In due time, tent camps will have disappeared and there’ll be a clean, white wall

“We cannot cope with the numbers any longer”, the Dutch prime minister says. Just imagine what he’ll be saying in June, when the Aegean sea will be warm and still.

We have to prepare for this. Europe is freaking out already, and it has given itself two months to save itself from the refugees. Only its boundless incompetence and disunity have allowed migrants to travel for this long. But with a near-fascist government in Poland, a straight-out racist ruling Hungary (with an even worse opposition), and the whole of Central Europe just waiting for an excuse to shut their borders, we can’t rely on hope or prayer anymore.

Source: What shall we do when the borders close?


Studying Islam and the Muslim World in Greece


Turkish_Studies_003From a social science and historical perspective, Muslim world & Ottoman Studies in Greece  will  include a special research centre in the University of Peloponnese as well as various centres and academic activities that cover academic and scholarly interest about Greece’s Ottoman past.

The new “Islamic Studies Program” will be available at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s School of Theology from the next academic year (2016-2017). Professors from various departments such as those of theology, political science and even architecture will teach courses.

The program will have a non-indoctrinative religious studies approach, in accordance with the School’s general goals to promote “Biblical Studies, the ongoing study of religion from a sociological and historical perspective, focusing on Christianity and Orthodoxy, Judaism, religion in the Greco-Roman period, and Islam”.

via Studying Islam and the Muslim World in Greece.


President Pavlopoulos to Merkel: Yes to Frontex , no to joint with Turkey joint patrols


President of Democray of Greece Prokopis Pavlopoulos hailed Merkel’s role in the refugee crisis during  his recent visit to Germany, where he met with German Cancellor and also with the  German Presiden Joachim Gauck .

Regarding the refugee crisis, the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos  described it as an “existential matter” of Europe.

“All the peoples of Europe have to fulfill their debt towards genuine refugees without phobias and of course will have to work to end the war in Syria, which is the root of this evil,” he noted.

Concerning the guarding of EU’s external borders, he recognized the need for collaboration with EU countries and Frontex, but ruled out joint Greek and Turkish patrols.
Focusing on Turkey, Pavlopoulos said the country needs to live up to its commitment to control the flow of refugees and especially economic migrants who leave from Turkey, “often with the cooperation of the Turkish authorities.”

He also noted the need to reactivate the readmission agreements.

Regarding the threat of terrorism, Pavlopolos said that Europe must be ruthless with terrorists who commit war crimes and must not show any tolerance and urged people to distinguish between terrorists and refugees.



German Presiden Joachim Gauck described the refugee issue as critical and acknowledged that Greece is faced with an even greater burden as a result of the migration flows, in addition to the challenges of economic reform and that there is room for improving European solidarity on the issue, since it is in the common interest of Europeans not to leave Greece struggle securing its borders unaided.

For the financial and recession crisis that Greece is facing for six years long , the President  stated :

“Greece will fully meet its obligations and our partners must also fulfill their own obligations.”

Following the [program] review, which should be finished as soon as possible to avoid a problem with the seemingly positive growth prospects of the Greek economy, it is necessary to immediately start talks on the Greek debt – not for a haircut, as it is not possible by European law, but other methods, which will lead to relief and have been accepted by our partners. Especially as regards the sustainability of Greece’s public debt and the so far, extremely dubious, austerity policy,” he said

German Presiden Joachim Gauck assured that Greece can depend on European solidarity, insisting on Germany’s commitment to seeing Greece remain in the European Union and underlined that Athens’ reform programme has become one of Germany’s main policies.

Referring to the “unprecedented” crisis that the Greek people are facing, Greek President Pavlopoulos asked the  European partners to take into account the unprecedented crisis that tests the Greek people and to try to establish some mutual understanding despite some initial mistakes, obsessions and misconceptions.




Kyriakos Mitsotakis: What to expect in the immediate future?



“Kyriakos Mitsotakis will not condescend to the politics of confrontation but he will still pursue a vocal opposition strategy vis-à-vis the government.”

READ MORE  Kyriakos Mitsotakis: What to expect in the immediate future?



Greek Tourism Goals: Up Up We Go


There was an upward trend for Greek tourism in 2015, since international tourist arrivals in Greece increased 5.7 % in 2015 compared to 2014. According to the SETE report that was published last Thursday (14.1), it is mentioned that 843,000 more tourists came to Greece in 2015, with the total number of airport arrivals reaching 15.5 million.

via Greek Tourism Goals: Up Up We Go.