197742 Epidemiology of West Nile Fever in Israel: 2000-2008

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Itamar Grotto, MD, MPH, PhD , Epidemiology Department, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Ministry of Health, Je, Israel
Hanna Binn, PhD , National Center for Zoonotic Viruses, Central Virology Laboratory, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel
Dan Gandacu, MD , Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, Public Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel
Laor Orshan, PhD , Laboratory of Entomology, Central Laboratories, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel
Nadav Davidovitch, MD, MPH, PhD , Health Systems Management, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel
Ella Mendelson, PhD , Central Virology Laboratory, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat-Gan, Israel
Emilia Anis, MD, MPH , Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, Public Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel
West Nile fever (WNF) is an endemic disease in Israel. After a large outbreak in 2000 it continues to be of public health concern.

Our objectives are to describe the epidemiology of WNF in Israel between 2000 and 2008 and to discuss the Israeli experience of prevention and control measures.

The annual incidence of WNF in Israel is unstable: 0.1-7.2/100,000. The overall case fatality ratio is 5.1%. The peak incidence is among people aged 60 and higher. The distribution between males and females is equal. The main incidence is during the late summer months, with 41% of cases reported in September. In low-incidence years there are sporadic cases with occasional clusters confined to small areas. In high incidence years cases are distributed country-wide. The relation between the incidence and the climate is complex: warm weather elongate mosquito activity period and enhance the development of the virus in the mosquito vectors but dryness limits mosquitoes breeding and therefore suppresses transmission potential.

Control activities involve comprehensive surveillance of human cases and infections in mosquitoes in order to identify potential geographical hotspots and enhance intervention activities, which include reduction of mosquito populations and the use of personal protection measures by the public. The principal preventive measures as well as season and areas of virus activities are publicized in governmental internet sites, in professional communications and in announcements in the media.

In summary, multidisciplinary approach is required to understand WNF transmission and its control. The net effect of climate change should be further investigated.

Learning Objectives:
1.Recognize the characteristics of human cases of West Nile Fever 2.Describe potential public health measures of control of west Nile fever 3.Discuss the relation between global warming and the epidemiology of West Nile fever

Keywords: Emerging Diseases, Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was involved in the collection and analysis of the datat presented
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.