As of March 2017, six cases of morbidity in the West Nile Fever virus were reported in Israel, of which five were presumed. The West Nile Fever virus was found in mosquitoes collected in early March and April in the central coastal region.
West Nile Fever is a disease caused by the West Nile virus and is transmitted to humans and animals during a blood meal of female mosquitoes, previously fed from infected birds.
Endemic disease in the country.
Reported annual morbidity rates are generally between 0.5 and 1.2 cases per 100,000 population (66 patients on average, range 38-94), with the exception of particularly low morbidity observed in 2004 (12 patients) compared to years in which outbreaks occurred: in 2000 400 patients and in 2007 and 2015, 156 and 149 patients, respectively.
It should be noted that the number of patients in 2016 is in the "normal" disease range (88 cases).
The Disease Symptoms
The period of incubation (the period that passes from the moment of the bite to the development of the signs of the disease) is usually 7 to 14 days.
This is usually a mild, flu-like disease that goes away by itself. Symptoms of the disease are: fever, headache, weakness, joint pain and muscle, sclerology, rash and sometimes nausea and diarrhea.
About 1 percentage of patients suffer from a severe disease, with neurological signs suitable for Neuropathy or acute Encephalitis.
Avoid Mosquito Bites
There is currently no vaccine against West Nile Fever, therefore, it is very important to avoid mosquito bites.
Preventing mosquito’s hazards and protection against bites are the cornerstones for effective disease prevention. The Ministry of Health recommends the public take comprehensive measures to prevent mosquito bites.
Reduce sources of standing water that can be a habitat for mosquitoes, including:
- Locate, remove, puncture or turn any container that may accumulate water such as old tires, buckets and barrels.
- Prevent water accumulation in the bottom of potted plants and window planters.
- Empty / change water at least once a week in containers such as flower vases and pet bowls.
- Cover swimming pools.
- Ensure the presence of fish in ornamental ponds.
- Clean and drain gutters.
- To invest effort in searching for stagnant water sources hidden in the thicket of the vegetation, basements and roofs, and to remove old objects that are unused and can accumulate water in the vicinity.
It is important to inform the local authority of the existence of water and mosquito hazards in public areas, so that the Authority will act to remove them.
To avoid mosquito bites, you should:
- Use insect repellants on the body.
- Reduce skin areas exposed to stings by wearing long and bright clothes.
- Operate fans both indoors and outdoors.
- Install fly and mosquito protection nets on windows and openings.