The Israel Ministry of Health has recorded 74 human West Nile virus cases as of this week, including three fatalities in individuals with underlying health conditions.
Among the councils and the areas in which mosquitoes tested positive have been found in recent weeks: Emek HaMaayanot Regional Council, Gezer Regional Council, Megilot Regional Council, Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, Menashe Regional Council, Megiddo Regional Council, Alona Regional Council, Gush Etzion Regional Council, Gilboa Regional Council, Mazkeret Batya, Caesarea, Pardes Hanna-Karkur and additional authorities.
The ministries are emphasizing, that the virus prevalence in a wide geographic distribution points to the high likelihood of its presence in other areas of the country – beyond those who have been sampled and are calling on the public to report back to the local authorities on any mosquito hazard in the public domain. An intensified joint supervision by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Ministry of Environmental Protection is taking place in order to diminish, as much as possible, the likelihood of the virus being transmitted to humans and safeguarding the public health.
The environmental and ecological changes that are taking place as a result of the climate change may bring about a rise in the prevalence of extreme natural phenomena – such as droughts and floods – and these phenomena adversely affect the population in the area, in the form of disease outbreaks, water contamination, damage to infrastructure etc. Extreme climate events may increase the propagation rate of various pests including mosquitoes and arthropods which are used to transmit a wide range of diseases, and also to alter their dispersion patterns. Among the diseases affected by the climate change are: the West Nile fever, Malaria, Leishmaniasis, Dengue fever and more.
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