Friday, August 24, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> West Nile virus (22): Middle East (Israel)

WEST NILE VIRUS (22): MIDDLE EAST (ISRAEL)
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Date: Thu 23 Aug 2018 6:28 pm IDT
Source: Times of Israel [edited]
<https://www.timesofisrael.com/health-ministry-confirms-two-israelis-dead-in-mass-west-nile-fever-outbreak/>


Two Israelis have died in the past few weeks from West Nile fever, the
Health Ministry said [Thu 23 Aug 208], amid the biggest outbreak of
the mosquito-transmitted disease in recent years.

The ministry said in a statement that 68 cases have been reported --
twice as much as last year [2017] -- and that 14 of the patients were
in serious condition.

Two people have died, it added, including an 85-year-old man with what
the ministry described as "preexisting health problems."

The 2nd fatality is reportedly a 76-year-old man who died in the
Assuta hospital in Ashdod 3 weeks ago. The Health Ministry was
criticized [Wed 22 Aug 2018] of failing to report the case, which was
revealed by the Kan public broadcaster.

The hospital confirmed the death and said it had been reported to the
ministry, which didn't make it known to the public.

An 18-year-old resident of southern Israel who contracted the disease
is currently in critical condition, suffering from organ failure and
being kept sedated and on a respirator in Beersheba's Soroka Medical
Center, reports said on [Wed 22 Aug 2018].

Earlier this week [week of 20 Aug 2018], tests confirmed that
mosquitoes carrying the virus were found in coastal areas, including
the Menashe Regional Council, Alona regional council, Pardes Hannah,
Binyamina, and Caesarea.

The Environmental Protection Ministry warned residents to protect
themselves against insect bites and called on the local authorities to
spray insecticide in areas where there are large numbers of mosquitoes
or larvae.

The peak season for the West Nile fever in Israel is between August
and October. The incubation period in humans is 3-15 days.

Symptoms include fever, rash, headache, and, rarely, more serious
side-effects such as meningitis could develop.

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[This is the 1st report of human cases of WNV from Israel for 2018,
with 68 cases reported in the country. A worrisome trend of more
intense WNV activity that is also being observed in Europe and
Americas. - Mod.UBA

Clinical WNF cases were initially suspected in Israel in 1941; the
virus was isolated and identified in 1951, during an extensive
outbreak which recurred in 1952-1953. WNF in Israel is seasonal,
recurring annually. During 2017, a total of 39 human cases and 3 cases
in horses were reported. According to today's (22 Aug 2018)
information, the number of human cases this year is about twice the
number during the same period in 2017.- Mod. AS

HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Israel:
<http://healthmap.org/promed/p/90>]

[See Also:
West Nile virus (19): Middle East (Israel) mosquitoes positive
http://promedmail.org/post/20180819.5973174

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http://promedmail.org/post/20180131.5597820
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West Nile virus - Eurasia (15): Israel, human, equine
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2007
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West Nile virus - Israel (North District) (02)
http://promedmail.org/post/20070914.3054
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West Nile virus, birds, migratory - Israel (02)
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