JERUSALEM (Reuters): Israel has detected cholera in a reservoir in the north of the country, likely the result of an outbreak in neighboring Syria spreading, the health ministry said on Friday.
The bacteria’s detection does not pose a danger to the public at this point, the ministry spokesperson said, adding that the authorities have taken steps to “protect Israel’s water sources” and regularly monitor possible water contamination, particularly in the north.
“In samples taken by the health ministry over the last few days, a sample from the Yarmoukim reservoir in the north of the country tested positive for cholera,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“The origin of the bacteria is likely Syria given the cholera outbreak there,” the statement said.
Water from the affected reservoir is used for irrigation, according to the Jordan Valley Water Association.
The first recent case of cholera in Syria was confirmed in August, according to the World Health Organization. The outbreak has since rampaged across the country and last month spread into Lebanon.
Cholera is typically spread through contaminated water, food or sewage. It can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration – which can kill if left untreated.