The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Greece is an advanced economy classified as high income. Located on the Mediterranean Sea (southeast of Albania and west of Turkey), the climate is classified as dry summer.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal meningitis, rabies, or tick-borne encephalitis. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2017) Very limited Malaria risk (P. vivax only) may exist from May through October in certain high-risk agricultural areas.
- Recommended prevention in high-risk agricultural areas: A - Very limited risk of malaria transmission. Mosquito bite prevention only.
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: Rare local transmission May–November associated with imported malaria cases, in agricultural areas. None in tourist areas.
- Drug resistance3 : Not applicable.
- Malaria species: P. vivax 100%.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: None.
3 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
4 Primaquine and tafenoquine can cause hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Patients must be screened for G6PD deficiency before starting primaquine or tafenoquine. See Tafenoquine Approved for Malaria Prophylaxis and Treatment for more information.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Minimal risk (comparable to that in other industrialized countries) exists throughout the country. Community sanitation is generally good, and health concerns related to food and beverages are minimal.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Other Food-Borne Illnesses
Precautions to prevent brucellosis may be needed.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Risk of attack by transnational terrorist groups exists throughout Europe. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Low risk of violent crime (sexual assault and assault) exists in areas frequented by tourists.
High risk of petty crime exists in areas frequented by tourists (including Monastiraki and Syntagma Square in central Athens), on public transportation (especially on the Metro and trains to and from Athens International Airport), and in Thessaloniki.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted (including on cruises). Highest threat areas include Mykonos, Santorini, and Ios islands.
Protests, demonstrations, and strikes frequently occur throughout the country (particularly on May 1 and November 17), especially in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities. Disruption to transportation, free movement, or the ability to carry out daily activities may occur.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
Basic safety standards for adventure activities (including recreational off-roading) may not be in place. Travelers should only use reputable adventure-sport operators for activities and equipment rentals.
Risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 7 to 12 per 100,000 population. The rate is less than 10 in most high-income countries.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
Exercise caution on public buses and metro and rail services, especially in central Athens, due to the risk of pick-pocketing.
U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has determined that the civil aviation authority of this country oversees its air carriers in accordance with minimum international safety standards.
Forest fires occur from June through September.
Seismic activity frequently occurs.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Greece
- United States: [+30] 210-721-2951; gr.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+30] 210-7273400; www.greece.gc.ca
- United Kingdom: [+30] 210-7272-600; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-athens
- Australia: [+30] 210-870-4000; www.greece.embassy.gov.au
Greece's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.mfa.gr/usa/en/
- In Canada: www.mfa.gr/canada/en
- In the U.K.: www.mfa.gr/uk/en
- In Australia: www.mfa.gr/australia/en
HIV and hepatitis testing may be required to obtain a work or residence visa.