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Ministry of Health to take action against the onset of leptospirosis



Health Ministry leaders met on Sunday for an emergency meeting to discuss an outbreak of leptospirosis
during which a series of measures to eradicate the disease were adopted, including the vaccination of infected cattle herds and improvements to sanitation.

During the meeting it became known that so far 42 people were infected with the virus and there are 242 suspected cases of infection.

Deputy Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman addressed the situation
Warning the public from entering the infected area.

  Emergency meeting of the Ministry of Health (photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

Emergency meeting of the Ministry of Health (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)

"We believe that the situation is under control with the instructions of professionals and potentially dangerous Areas, "added Litzman.

Among other participants were Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health Moshe Bar Siman Tov, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health Prof. Itamar Grotto, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism Amir Halevi and representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Nature and Parks Authority, the Water Authority, the Cattle Breeders Association and local councils.

It was decided that various ministries will work together in a coordinated way to eradicate the disease, with a series of steps to be implemented soon, including:

1. Regulation of cattle and grassland sources and fence fencing to prevent cattle from accessing water sources

2. The flow of water through the water authority into the springs. It was made clear that efforts should be invested mainly in the regulation of the animals and wild boars that transmit the disease.

. 3 Vaccination of infected cattle herds

4. Activities to improve sanitation by local authorities.

 (Photo: The Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

(Photo: The Israel Nature and Parks Authority)

In addition, the Ministry of Health will continue to publicize the a regular basis on the condition of the infected Streams and springs.

"The Department of Health is investigating the flows and closely monitoring the matter," Litzman said in comments to the media before the discussion. "The creeks, which are bad, shut down the ministry, and those that are good leave it open."

Moshe Bar Siman Tov asserted that "things are under control, and we both monitor the water sources and monitor the conditions a daily basis. Follow our instructions because there have been many unfounded, wrong and biased things (said).

He said that leptospirosis in collaboration with all the authorities invited to the emergency discussion will not be a problem summer

Prof Itamar Grotto said the list of places that are unsafe will be on the site's website Ministry of Health "constantly updated."

"It is important to emphasize that there are no restrictions anywhere else (this is not on the list), and leptospirosis can not be contracted by air or in pool water," said Prof. Grotto and added that it is safe to travel in northern Israel.

The Department of Nature and Parks reported on Saturday The number of visitors to the water destinations in northern Israel has dropped due to the leptospirosis scare

 (Photo: Avi Moalem)

(Photo: Avi Moalem)

In Horshat valley, the number of visitors dropped from 1,800 to 800 in a week. In Nahal Snir, visitor numbers dropped from 1,650 to 700, and Gan Hashlosha saw only 1,700 visitors, 1,100 less than last week.

The reason for the outbreak of infection is still unclear. It is thought to be related to herds of cattle grazing in the Golan Heights and contaminated streams, as well as low volume flow due to prolonged drought.

Prof. Michal Hovers, head of the infectious disease department at Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, said the infection is caused by Leptospira bacteria derived from animals.

"Animals infect the waters and streams, and people who either bathe there or are exposed to urine from mice in outdoor habitats can catch this infection," she said in an interview with Ynet.

"The symptoms may be mild in some cases, but in others the infection can become severe and cause kidney and liver failure," she continued.

Prof. Hovers added that symptoms include fever, flu-like symptoms and sometimes corneal inflammation, but stressed that not all symptoms require hospitalization

 [Photo: The Israel Nature and Parks Authority]

[Photo: The Israel Nature and Parks Authority]

The Ministry listed several rivers that the public can not enter: Zaki, Yehudiya, Meshushim, Zavitan, Jilabun and Daliyot (in the Majrassa Nature Reserve), and the Jordan (Jordan Park area only) [19659003]

Those who have come into contact with either water or wet mud from the infected streams since early July and have fever over 38 ° C for more than 24 hours for a period of less than three weeks after first contact, advised to call their family doctor [19659060]

The Ministry stresses that pregnant women, the elderly, children and people who are suffering from chronic diseases, have a higher risk of infection.


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