Three in Israel Struck With West Nile Fever in July

15 cases reported so far in 2014; most cases occur in August through October.

Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
A mosquito in California. Three cases of West Nile virus were reported in Israel during July.
A mosquito in California. Three cases of West Nile virus were reported in Israel during July.
Ido Efrati
Ido Efrati

Three people in Israel were diagnosed with West Nile Fever last month, bringing to 15 the number of people in the country who have contracted the virus this year, according to Health Ministry figures.

West Nile fever is seasonal: The high point of its outbreak is from August to October. Every year dozens of people are infected with the virus, although few cases are fatal.

Two of the 15 patients this year were diagnosed through laboratory tests and the rest by their clinical symptoms. The patients live in 12 different communities from Haifa and Afula to Ashkelon. Six live in the greater Tel Aviv area.

West Nile fever is usually not considered a serious illness. The virus originates in birds, from which it is transferred to mosquitos, which can then pass it on to humans. In Israel, the disease is passed on to humans mainly by two species of mosquitos, Culex pipiens and Culex perexiguus.

Sometimes victims have no symptoms and sometimes the disease produces symptoms similar to those of the flu, which disappear on their own. These symptoms include fever, headaches, weakness, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, rash and sometimes nausea and diarrhea. In the 1 percent of cases that are considered serious, symptoms are neurological, like those of meningitis, and can include paralysis.

The incubation period of the virus is a week to two weeks; in unusual cases it can be as long as three weeks. There is no specific treatment for West Nile fever; the main effort is prevention. The Health Ministry recommends taking steps to avoid mosquito bites, such as using mosquito repellant, putting up window screens and wearing protective clothing. The ministry also recommends immediately reporting to the authorities the presence of mosquitos and standing water.

In 2013, 71 cases of West Nile fever were reported in Israel, four of which resulted in death. In 2012, 89 people contracted the virus, two of whom died.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott