Mosquitoes infected with deadly West Nile virus were found in Israel during routine tests in August, the state’s Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) reported on Wednesday.
The tests were carried out by the ministry’s Department of Pests and Pesticides, along with Israel’s Ministry of Health.
In the tests, 6 new cases of infected mosquitoes were found in the Arabah region and in Soreq Stream, both of which located in southern Israel, as well as in Jezreel and Maayanot northern valleys.
The MoEP reported the findings to the relevant local authorities, and demanded that they expand the scope of their mosquito control activities.
The majority of those who contract West Nile virus suffer from flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches, and muscle aches.
A small percentage, however, may develop an infection in the brain, which can lead to paralysis, brain damage, and death.
MoEP Deputy Director General for Natural Resources Alon Zask said that “the best conditions for mosquito hazards are the existence of stagnant water sources and high temperatures. These conditions exist in Israel during summer.”
“Mosquito hazards are even more likely during extreme events, such as sewage and effluent discharge, which happen for a variety of reasons, including climate change,” he added.