Mosquitoes infected with West Nile found in Israel twice in one month

The West Nile virus has the potential to cause an infection in the brain, which can result in severe outcomes such as paralysis or fatality.

A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is seen on the skin of a human host in this 2014 picture from the Center for Disease Control. C. quinquefasciatus is known as one of the many arthropodal vectors responsible for spreading the arboviral encephalitis, West Nile virus (WNV) to human beings through thei (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito is seen on the skin of a human host in this 2014 picture from the Center for Disease Control. C. quinquefasciatus is known as one of the many arthropodal vectors responsible for spreading the arboviral encephalitis, West Nile virus (WNV) to human beings through thei
(photo credit: REUTERS)
For the second time in the span of a month, mosquitoes infected with the West Nile Virus have been found in Israel. 
The infected mosquitoes were discovered in late July and early August, in the Galilee and in the Jezreel Valley by the Environmental Protection Ministry during mosquito population monitoring efforts which include trapping mosquitoes and sending them off for testing in laboratories. 
Two weeks ago, similar cases were detected in southern Israel in the Aravah and Gilboa areas.
After the mosquitoes were discovered to have been infected, the ministry warned local authorities in those areas to increase monitoring efforts and, if deemed necessary, to carry out exterminations. Residents of the areas were also warned, especially as the summer months are a time when mosquitoes are more prevalent and people are spending more time outdoors. 

An Israeli man jump is seen jumping into water, as people enjoy a hot summer evening at the Ein Lavan Spring in Jerusalem, on July 27, 2020. (Credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)An Israeli man jump is seen jumping into water, as people enjoy a hot summer evening at the Ein Lavan Spring in Jerusalem, on July 27, 2020. (Credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)
"During this period, when many families are traveling around the country and staying outdoors, it is important that the public be vigilant and take all measures to prevent mosquito bites. Mosquitoes are present in the summer days, when temperatures are high and there is stagnant water, and such incidents will increase in frequency in the coming years as climate change worsens," said Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel in a statement. 
The West Nile Virus, which can sometimes be fatal, is caused by a virus transferred through species of mosquitoes called Culex and the Asian tiger mosquitoes which became carriers by biting infected birds, according to the Environmental Protection Ministry. Most people exposed to the virus do not develop symptoms of the disease, and the majority of those that do, suffer from flu-like symptoms such as fever, headaches and muscle aches. A small percentage of people bitten however, can develop an infection in the brain, which can lead to paralysis, brain damage and death. 
To date there is no specific drug treatment or vaccine in contemporary medicine. 
The best way to break the chain of mosquito to human infection of diseases such as the West Nile Virus is to try and stay away from still or slow moving water, and if possible eliminate the sources of water, as they serve as breeding grounds for mosquito larvae. 
The Environmental Protection Ministry has provided a list of ways prevent mosquito breeding and development. The ministry's methods mainly include monitoring water sources, such as preventing the unnecessary flow of water; removing stagnant water; preventing the dumping of waste into bodies of water and removing vegetation that interferes with the flow of water, except in habitats with high ecological values.