Surveillance of west Nile virus disease, Tel Aviv district, Israel, 2005 to 2010

E. Kopel*, Z. Amitai, H. Bin, L. M. Shulman, E. Mendelson, R. Shefer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present the findings of a six-year surveillance period (2005-2010) of human West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Tel Aviv district, Israel. Initial notifications of positively identified patients received from the Central Virology Laboratory were followed by epi-demiological investigations of the local district health office. During 2005-2010, 104 patients, 79 with WNV neuroinvasive and 25 with WNV non- euroinvasive disease were reported. The median age of the patients with a neuroinvasive disease was 74 years (range: 15 to 95 years) and 53 of such patients had encephalitis, 14 had acute flaccid paralysis, and 12 had meningitis. The case-fatality rate in these patients was 8%. The average annual incidence of neuroinvasive disease during 2005-2010 was 1.08 per 100,000 population. The incidence declined by 86% steadily between 2005 and 2009 (p for trend=0.005), but increased by more than six-fold in 2010. Elderly (≥65 years) men, comprising 25 patients of whom 24 were chronically-ill, had the highest incidence of WNV encephalitis (p<0.001). These findings are concordant with previous data, at the national level, published in Israel and the United States. Notably, the percentage of previously healthy patients, who developed a neuroinvasive disease was the highest (37%, p=0.001) in the surveillance period in 2010.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number25
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2011


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