Mosquitoes infected with deadly West Nile virus were found in the city of Jerusalem during routine tests, the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) reported on Wednesday.
The infected mosquitoes were discovered in tests conducted by the MoEP together with the Israeli Ministry of Health in the valley between Jerusalem’s Neve Yaakov and Pisgat Zeev neighborhoods.
Following the detection of the infected mosquitoes, the MoEP demanded the city’s municipality to carry out monitoring activities, and if determined necessary, to take immediate steps to eliminate mosquito hazards in Jerusalem.
West Nile fever is caused by a virus mainly found in birds and transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.
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, can develop an infection in the brain, which can lead to paralysis, brain damage, and death.
Because there is no vaccine for humans, preventing mosquito hazards is the main way to break the cycle of disease transmission to humans.
An inter-ministerial system has been set up in Israel to monitor mosquitoes and detect West Nile virus.
Mosquitoes are collected from the field by the MoEP, and then identified and tested by the Ministry of Health.