West Nile Virus, Illustration
West Nile Virus, IllustrationiStock

Two women who contracted West Nile fever died this weekend at Beilinson Medical Center, the Ministry of Health announced this evening (Sunday).

The Ministry also reported that so far 21 people have been diagnosed with the virus; 17 of whom have been hospitalized with neurological symptoms. Three of the patients are on ventilators. All those infected with the disease are residents of central Israel.

The Ministry of Health states that "about 80% of those infected do not develop symptoms of West Nile Fever. About 20% will have symptoms of varying severity, including fever, general malaise, headaches, or body aches. Neurological complications will appear in less than 1% from of those infected.”

The Ministry also published several recommendations: "In order to reduce exposure to mosquitoes, the Ministry recommends using mosquito repellents and appropriate means to keep mosquitoes away, as well as turning on fans wherever people are sitting."

"The incidence of West Nile Fever has been known in Israel for many years and occurs mainly between June and November. This year it started earlier than usual and is probably due to climate changes in Israel and around the world, while the humidity in the center of the country may lead to the faster reproduction of mosquitoes in this area. Adults and people with immunosuppression will have a higher risk of morbidity," the Ministry adds.