One teen has been hospitalized in critical condition and 67 others admitted in good to fair condition after they contracted West Nile virus, transmitted by mosquitoes.
The 18-year-old southern Israeli, who is suffering from organ failure, is under sedation and being maintained on a respirator at the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, according to Ynet.
So far, the number of those who have fallen ill with the disease is already double the number of cases in 2017.
Tests have confirmed that mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus were found in Pardes Hanna, Binyamina, Caesarea, the Menashe Regional Council and the Alona Regional Council, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
West Nile virus is found in Israel from August to October. Symptoms of the disease include fever, rash and headache but a rare, more serious side effect such as meningitis is possible as well. The incubation period for development of the disease in humans in between three to 15 days.
Residents have been warned to take steps to protect themselves against insect bites. Local authorities were urged by the ministry to fumigate areas where there are large concentrations of mosquitoes and/or larvae.