A 78-year-old resident of Spata, eastern Attica, has become the first Greek to become seriously infected with West Nile virus this year, and has been hospitalized for treatment to his central nervous system.

The man, who has not recently traveled abroad, according to reports, developed encephalitis after being infected by the virus which is carried by mosquitoes.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) has been running a public awareness campaign to encourage better prevention against mosquitoes, which arrived earlier and in greater numbers this year following an unusually hot spring.