The Ministry of Health announces that the West Nile Fever Virus has begun its activity for the summer of 2016
Starting in March 2016, four cases of West Nile Fever were reported in Israel, 1 proven and three probable.
It should be noted that in 2015 149 cases of West Nile Virus were reported to the Ministry of health.
The Ministry of health recommends to the public to take measures against mosquito bites, such as: applying mosquito repellents, installing screens on windows and wearing protective clothes.
It is recommended to report to the local authorities any mosquito infestations and standing water as soon as possible.
The disease and how to protect against it
West Nile Fever is a disease caused by the West Nile Fever Virus, and transferred to human beings and various animals via a bite by a mosquito that feeds on infected birds. In Israel the disease is transferred mainly by mosquitos.
In the majority of cases it is a mild, influenza-like disease, which resolves by itself.
Symptoms include: fever, headaches, weakness, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, rash and sometimes nausea and diarrheas.
In 1% of the cases the disease is severe, with neurological signs compatible with meningitis or acute encephalitis.
The incubation period (from the moment the person was bitten and up to the development of symptoms) in most cases is 7 to 14 days. In isolated cases the incubation period may be shorter (3 days), or reach 21 days.
Prevention of mosquito infestation and protection from mosquito bites are the corner stones of effective morbidity prevention. One should take protective measures during the hours of darkness (from sunset till sunrise), when the mosquitos are most active.