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Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 Jul-Aug; 7(4): 675–678.
PMCID: PMC2631759

Clinical characteristics of the West Nile fever outbreak, Israel, 2000.


West Nile (WN) virus is endemic in Israel. The last reported outbreak had occurred in 1981. From August to October 2000, a large-scale epidemic of WN fever occurred in Israel; 417 cases were confirmed, with 326 hospitalizations. The main clinical presentations were encephalitis (57.9%), febrile disease (24.4%), and meningitis (15.9%). Within the study group, 33 (14.1%) hospitalized patients died. Mortality was higher among patients >70 years (29.3%). On multivariate regressional analysis, independent predictors of death were age >70 years (odds ratio [OR] 7.7), change in level of consciousness (OR 9.0), and anemia (OR 2.7). In contrast to prior reports, WN fever appears to be a severe illness with high rate of central nervous system involvement and a particularly grim outcome in the elderly.

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Selected References

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