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Ymittos Athens, Greece

Karageorgou K.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Katerelos P.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Efstathiou A.,National Health Operations Center | Theodoridou M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Maltezou H.C.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Background: Vaccination of healthcare students is important to protect them from acquiring and transmitting vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) to high-risk patients and other healthcare workers (HCWs). The aim of the current study was to estimate the vaccination coverage, the susceptibility against VPDs, the knowledge and attitudes toward vaccinations of healthcare students studying at the Athens Technological Educational Institute. Methods: The study was conducted during the academic year 2012-2013 using a standardized questionnaire. Results: The mean knowledge score (correct answers) of healthcare students about the vaccines that are recommended by the Greek Ministry of Health for HCWs was 41%. Completed vaccination rates range from 19.6% for varicella to 80.2% for tetanus-diphtheria. A history of measles, mumps, rubella, varicella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or pertussis was reported by 8.2%, 4%, 5.4%, 70.4%, 1.5%, 0%, and 3% of students, respectively. Susceptibility rates were 20.5% against measles, 26.4% against mumps, 13.9% against rubella, 15.7% against varicella, 47.8% against hepatitis A, 17.3% against hepatitis B, and 19.8% against tetanus-diphtheria. Mandatory vaccination of HCWs was supported by 145 (96.7%) students. Conclusions: There are significant immunity gaps against all VPDs among healthcare students in Athens. A system to easily identify non-immune students should be established in association with efficient reminder systems. Education of healthcare students about VPDs and vaccines will improve their attitudes toward vaccinations and their vaccination coverage. Mandatory vaccinations should be considered for HCWs in order to promote safety within healthcare facilities. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Tsiodras S.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Tsiodras S.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Baka A.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Mentis A.,Hellenic Pasteur Institute | And 28 more authors.

On 18 April 2014, a case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection was laboratory confirmed in Athens, Greece in a patient returning from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Main symptoms upon initial presentation were protracted fever and diarrhoea, during hospitalisation he developed bilateral pneumonia and his condition worsened. During 14 days prior to onset of illness, he had extensive contact with the healthcare environment in Jeddah. Contact tracing revealed 73 contacts, no secondary cases had occurred by 22 April. Source

Theoharatos G.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Pantavou K.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Mavrakis A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Spanou A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Research

Heat waves are considered to be increasing in frequency and intensity whereas they comprise a significant weather-related cause of deaths in several countries. Two heat waves occurred in Greece in summer 2007. These severe heat waves are assessed by analyzing the prevailing synoptic conditions, evaluating human thermal discomfort, through the Heat Load Index (HL), as well as investigating its interrelation of air pollutant concentrations, and the daily air quality stress index (AQSI), in the greater region of Athens (Attica), Greece. Furthermore, the relation of HL values and the number of heatstroke and heat exhaustion events recorded in public hospitals operating within the Greek National Health System is examined. Data included radiosonde measurements from the Athens airport station (LGAT), NCEP/NCAR reanalysis data in order to obtain the position of the Subtropical Jet Stream (STJ), GDAS meteorological data for back-trajectory calculation, 10-min meteorological data from 10 Hydro-Meteorological stations and mean hourly values of nitric dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and ozone (O3) concentrations, measured at 7 different sites, for the last 10-day period of June and July 2007. Spearman's rank correlation test was used to observe any possible correlation between HL values and air pollutant concentrations, and AQSI values. The results demonstrated different synoptic characteristics for the heat waves of June and July. In the heat wave of June, higher ambient temperatures were recorded and greater HL values were calculated. Extreme discomfort conditions were identified in both heat waves during both day-time and night-time hours. The air pollution analysis showed poor air quality conditions for the heat wave of July, while a significant correlation was found between HL values and average hourly concentrations of O3, NO2 and SO2. The number of heat-affected patients reported during the June heat wave was larger. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Sypsa V.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Bonovas S.,Hellenic Center for Diseases Control and Prevention | Tsiodras S.,Hellenic Center for Diseases Control and Prevention | Baka A.,National Health Operations Center | And 5 more authors.

Background: The aim of this study was to assess the disease burden of the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) in Greece. Methodology/Principal Findings: Data on influenza-like illness (ILI), collected through cross-sectional nationwide telephone surveys of 1,000 households in Greece repeated for 25 consecutive weeks, were combined with data from H1N1 virologic surveillance to estimate the incidence and the clinical attack rate (CAR) of influenza A(H1N1). Alternative definitions of ILI (cough or sore throat and fever>38°C [ILI-38] or fever 37.1-38°C [ILI-37]) were used to estimate the number of symptomatic infections. The infection attack rate (IAR) was approximated using estimates from published studies on the frequency of fever in infected individuals. Data on H1N1 morbidity and mortality were used to estimate ICU admission and case fatality (CFR) rates. The epidemic peaked on week 48/2009 with approximately 750-1,500 new cases/100,000 population per week, depending on ILI-38 or ILI-37 case definition, respectively. By week 6/2010, 7.1%-15.6% of the population in Greece was estimated to be symptomatically infected with H1N1. Children 5-19 years represented the most affected population group (CAR:27%-54%), whereas individuals older than 64 years were the least affected (CAR:0.6%-2.2%). The IAR (95% CI) of influenza A(H1N1) was estimated to be 19.7% (13.3%, 26.1%). Per 1,000 symptomatic cases, based on ILI-38 case definition, 416 attended health services, 108 visited hospital emergency departments and 15 were admitted to hospitals. ICU admission rate and CFR were 37 and 17.5 per 100,000 symptomatic cases or 13.4 and 6.3 per 100,000 infections, respectively. Conclusions/Significance: Influenza A(H1N1) infected one fifth and caused symptomatic infection in up to 15% of the Greek population. Although individuals older than 65 years were the least affected age group in terms of attack rate, they had 55 and 185 times higher risk of ICU admission and CFR, respectively. © 2011 Sypsa et al. Source

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