As a growing number of European countries report Zika infections among citizens returning from trips to Latin America, Arutz Sheva spoke with Hebrew University's Dr. Hagai Levine to discuss the threat.
"We should be worried – globally, because this virus can cause congenital malformations and it can spread to other countries," said Levine, of the School of Public Health.
But, he says, chances of becoming infected in Israel are highly improbably, as "we don't have the the mosquitoes [here] that can transmit the virus so we are pretty protected."
Still, Israelis traveling in foreign countries should try to prevent mosquitoes from spreading by using sprays and closing open water areas. Pregnant women, Dr. Levine adds, should "avoid going to endemic areas with mosquitoes."
At a time like this, Dr. Levine asserts, the study of public health is more important than ever as the "environment affects everything else."
Hebrew University offers a master degree in public health with a specialization in environmental health – because "we need to understand ecology, etymology, medicine, and virology… in order to control" such outbreaks.
"This story reminds us that we should put more resources into public health," Dr. Levine says, stressing that Israel is at the forefront of responding to such emergency situations and in providing experts and aid to suffering countries.