Mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus have been identified in Israel’s southern Arava region, the country’s Environmental Protection Ministry announced on Wednesday.
The ministry said the mosquitos were found along Route 90 in the communities of Yotvata, Paran and Elipaz, located just north of Eilat.
Local leaders were instructed to closely monitor the situation and if required “immediately carry out preventive measures and pest control.”
In May, mosquitos carrying West Nile were found near the southern city of Yeruham and the surrounding Ramat Negev Regional Council.
West Nile generally causes flu-like symptoms that last about a week, but in some cases can be fatal. An Israeli died from the virus in August 2022.
In 2020, mosquitos carrying West Nile virus were found as far as north as the Tel Aviv area, and two years earlier dozens of Israelis were hospitalized in a major outbreak.
“We call on the public to reduce watering, dry standing water, close window screens in houses, turn on fans and apply insect repellants,” said Dr. Gal Zagron, the ministry’s director of the Pest and Control Division.