By Yasser Leghari, Solidaire Reporters
Hundreds of thousands have fled to neighbouring Turkey or Greece
More than 900,000 Pandemic Influenza (PV) victims have died in Greece, which is under an “exceptional” health alert.
Its health authorities have taken measures to prevent a repeat of the horrific 2007-2008 bird flu epidemic.
Schools are being closed, and most poultry is to be culled. Those who cannot pay are to be fined up to 90 euros.
Pools are banned, including child pools.
On Monday, at least 40 people were treated for bird flu in Greece, causing a panic in a country where around 25% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Schools across Greece have closed for an unspecified period of time and the country’s food association is launching its own campaign to promote that food is good for you.
“There are no deaths in Greece,” President Artamos Kalfakis told a news conference.
“The alert remains very high.”
That does not seem to be sitting well with many who have been affected.
In the capital Athens, people have been phoning and phoning to hear why the schools have been closed. Some are turning up at their local health centre hoping to find out the truth.
“People are searching for the truth because their children are missing school,” Antonis Markakis told the BBC.
“Because they are missing school they are worried if they are healthy and not going to have a vaccine.”
Mr Markakis added: “We’re all in a panic because they will close all hospitals.”
Health care authorities and the European Commission, meanwhile, are seeking dialogue with Greece’s political leaders after protesters clashed with police on Sunday in central Athens over the health scare.
Read more: Bird flu shuts down Greece
Greece is ill-prepared for a pandemic
Pavlos Fyssas, of the Federation of Greek Peasants told the BBC’s Alastair Leithead: “Our situation is serious – it is serious for the economy because in the near future we could see prolonged electricity cuts because the generators need money to fuel them.”
“So, this is a serious situation. This is not normal at all for an affluent country like Greece.”
In the rest of Europe, bird flu remains low and in Greece is essentially contained.
In Greece, meanwhile, the fear is that this is only the beginning.
Follow our coverage of the bird flu crisis in Greece on the BBC News website
Questions have been raised about Greece’s preparedness – and the response to the problem.
Human cases of bird flu have now been identified in Turkey and Romania, and people fear that the virus could spread rapidly.
A report from the EU’s migration commissioner has said there are “worrying signs” that the pandemic will not be contained.
Meanwhile, authorities are counting the cost. A new report estimates that the financial impact on the economy from the bird flu outbreak has been more than €3bn.
It says that this equals around 4% of gross domestic product – the figure taken in good years.
Asked why many Greek people did not listen to advice from the government that some poultry products should be sold, Mr Kalfakis said: “In any case, they were not aware of what the government said because they rely on their families.”
Another newspaper reported that transport companies were turning their vans around – instead of bringing the poultry products for sale back to their food stores – but Mr Kalfakis said there was no indication of this at this time.
Air cargo has been banned because of concerns about the risk of transporting the eggs, because the virus has been detected in birds in Spain.
But Mr Kalfakis said it would be wrong to blame the transport industries.
“They have nothing to do with this virus because they were not aware of its emergence.”
It has been more than 20 years since Greece has suffered a major bird flu epidemic, and authorities are trying to get across the message to the public that the risk is very low and that the government will not panic.