Health Ministry warns as 17 hospitalized due to West Nile virus


The Health Ministry has warned of the rise in West Nile virus cases this year and called for residents to take increased precautions in a message on Friday.

The Ministry announced that since the beginning of May, 19 people had been diagnosed with West Nile virus, of which 17 were hospitalized and three were put on ventilators.

All patients come from the center of the country.

The Ministry recommends that residents reduce their exposure to mosquitoes by using repellents and other anti-mosquito devices, including fans, in their homes.

West Nile virus has been found in Israel for many years and occurs mainly between the months of June and November.

West Nile fever 311 (credit: Courtesy)

Climate change hits hard

This year, it appeared earlier than usual, most likely due to climate change.

The humid weather in the country’s center may lead to increased mosquito reproduction. Adults and people with immunosuppression are at significant risk.

After the West Nile virus is identified, the Health Ministry conducts an epidemiological investigation, and the information is forwarded to the Environmental Protection Ministry for local pest control operations.

In addition, the Health and Environmental Protection Ministries will inform the public about areas where mosquitoes infected with the virus are living.

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