A new wave of diseases threatens Southern Europe and the Middle East
In an editorial for the Washington Post, Sabin's president, Dr. Hotez, draws on his recent travel as a U.S. Science Envoy and calls for greater preparedness measures to address tropical diseases in southern Europe and the Middle East.
"While global attention has been focused on strengthening health systems in West Africa in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak there, a new wave of tropical infectious disease is threatening Southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.
"The unprecedented appearance of tropical diseases in Southern Europe in recent years has been well documented. Dengue fever appeared on Madeira off the coast of Portugal in 2012, and chikungunya arrived in Spain this year. Malaria has returned to Greece after being eliminated in the 1960s, and West Nile virus has gained a foothold throughout Southern Europe. These infections are transmitted by mosquitoes that now inhabit the region. Schistosomiasis, a parasitic blood fluke infection transmitted by snails, just made its first recorded appearance on the island of Corsica, while outbreaks of opisthorchiasis, a liver fluke that causes bile duct cancer, have occurred in Italy."