Now that it appears the recent leptospirosis crisis is under control, Israel’s healthcare community is addressing West Nile virus, with an 18-year-old male reportedly in very serious condition, in an intensive care unit in Beersheva’s Soroka Medical Center. He is on a respirator and in a medically-induced coma. Five others are hospitalized nationwide in less serious condition.
Health officials are reporting a serious and worrisome increase in the number of cases of West Nile virus, and as of Wednesday morning, 11 Elul, there are 57 diagnoses cases nationwide.
West Nile fever is transmitted by a mosquito bite fed by infected birds. These days are the peak period of viral activity in Israel, and most of the infected people live on the coastal plain and the Shvelah.
Symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, weakness, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis, rash, and sometimes nausea and diarrhea. Sometimes there are rare complications such as acute brain inflammation or meningitis.
Since there is no vaccine against Nile fever, it is important to avoid mosquito bites. If you are stung, you should apply a substance that soothes the itching sensation to the place where the bite is. In case of acute allergic reaction or if a fever develops – you should consult your doctor.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)