The Ministry of Health Advises that the West Nile Fever Virus has Started its Activity for the Summer of 2013
Starting from May 2013, 4 cases of West Nile Fever have been reported in Israel, one confirmed diagnosis and 3 tentative diagnoses.
It should be noted that in 2012, 101 patients were reported to the Ministry of Health.
The Ministry of Health recommends that the public take the necessary precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. For example: use mosquito repellents, screens on the windows and suitable clothing.
It is recommended that cases of mosquito nuisances or stagnant water be reported to the local authorities as soon as possible.
A Brief Background About the Disease and Methods of Protection:
- West Nile Fever is a disease caused by West Nile virus (WNV), and is transmitted to humans and to various animals via the bite of a mosquito that has fed on infected birds. In Israel, the disease is transmitted primarily by mosquitoes.
- This is usually a mild influenza-like illness that resolves by itself. Signs are: fever, headache, weakness, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, rash and sometimes nausea and diarrhea. In approximately 10% of patients, the disease is severe, with neurological signs consistent with meningitis or encephalitis.
- The incubation period (time period that passes from the time of the bite until signs of the disease develop) in most cases is 7 to 14 days, and can occasionally be shorter (3 days) or reach 21 days.
- Prevention of mosquito hazards and protection against bites are the foundations of effective prevention of illness. Protective measures should be taken during the hours of darkness (from sunset till sunrise), which are the hours of mosquito activity.