Gov't warns of increased risk of West Nile Virus

The Environmental Protection Ministry on Monday warned local authorities about an increase in mosquitoes likely to transmit West Nile Virus. The warning stemmed from fears that the mosquitoes would reproduce earlier than usual due to hot weather conditions. A branch for fighting the pests at the ministry has distributed letters to all local and regional authorities in Israel specifying the need to implement preventative measures as soon as possible. The letter urged the authorities to be scrupulous in carrying out all preventative actions, to monitor and control all known breeding sites and to locate all new breeding sites not yet known. The letter also instructed and advised residents on how to prevent and eliminate private mosquito breeding sites and urged the public to report such sites to the Environmental Protection Ministry.