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At least 15 Israelis have died so far this year from the mosquito-borne West Nile Virus, the Health Ministry said Tuesday.

A total of 299 Israelis were diagnosed with the virus, including several who were hospitalized with complications from the illness.


Most of the severe cases have struck immunocompromised people with pre-existing medical conditions, and the elderly.

Approximately 80 percent of those who become infected do not develop symptoms of the virus.

Of the 20 percent who do exhibit symptoms, most will experience fever, fatigue, headaches and/or widespread body pain. Neurological complications affect less than one percent of those who become infected.

The virus is not transmitted from person to person, nor does it transfer back from humans to mosquitoes.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.