Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus found in Negev

One person has died due to West Nile Fever since the beginning of the year.

 Mosquito feeding on blood (photo credit: Universiteit Leiden)
Mosquito feeding on blood
(photo credit: Universiteit Leiden)

Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were found along Highway 90 near the Arava, the Environmental Protection and Health ministries reported.

The infected mosquitoes were found in Paran, Elifaz, Yotvata, and Sapir Center.

The Environmental Protection Ministry instructed the Central Arava and Hevel Eilot regional councils to conduct increased monitoring efforts and, if necessary, to carry out immediate pest control efforts.

Officials call on public to avoid standing water

Dr. Gal Zagron, director of the Pest and Control Division at the Environmental Protection Ministry elaborated on the need for increased mosquito monitoring and just how much harm mosquitoes can cause.

"Heat and humidity increase mosquito activity, so as climate change deepens, we will be exposed to more and more mosquito hazards," he said, adding, "We call on the public to reduce watering, dry standing water, close window screens in houses, turn on fans, and apply insect repellants."

 Close-up of a mosquito. (credit: PIXABAY)
Close-up of a mosquito. (credit: PIXABAY)

Every season, pest control teams associated with the Environmental Protection Ministry capture and monitor mosquito larvae for the virus.

Since the beginning of 2023, one person has died due to West Nile Fever. While West Nile Fever is usually a mild flu-like illness, there are possible rare complications, such as acute inflammation of the brain or meningitis.