Cave (illustrative)
Cave (illustrative) iStock

The Health Ministry's Jerusalem District office reported three cases of relapsing fever borreliosis in the area.

All three are children from the Jerusalem-area town of Kfar Eldad. Two of the children were hospitalized in Jerusalem, and one returned to the hospital a month later, after she completed a round of antibiotics. It is not clear if she was re-infected or not.

An epidemiological investigation showed that all three children had spent time in a cave in the nearby community of Nokdim.

The Environmental Protection Ministry, Gush Etzion Regional Council, and the Nature and Parks Authority have been notified of the incidents.

The virus is caused by infection with certain Borrelia bacteria, and transmitted through both ticks and lice. Symtoms include sudden fever, chills, nausea, muscle aches, shortness of breath, cough, rash, and other flu-like symptoms.

Prevention entails avoidance of insects which carry the virus, and refraining from entering caves in the area of Kfar Eldad and Nokdim.

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