IllustrationHebrew University

The Health Ministry has announced that the Rishon LeZion municipality will be spraying pesticides in a 4,000-square-meter wide radius around the home of an infected Zika patient, in an attempt to stop the deadly virus from spreading.

Zika has been known to cause both microcephaly and malformed brains in affected fetuses. It is not yet known how long Zika stays active in the bloodstream, or whether recurrent infections are just as dangerous as initial infections.

Zika is spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are not common in Israel. However, it is also spread by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, and may be able to be transferred from humans to other types of mosquitoes.

So far, there have been ten confirmed cases of Zika in Israel.

Although the Health Ministry warned pregnant women and their partners to avoid traveling to Zika-infected areas, thousands of Israelis traveled to Brazil for the Olympic games earlier this year.