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Volume 3, Number 2—June 1997
From the 1st International Conference on Emerging Zoonoses

From the 1st International Conference on Emerging Zoonoses

Epidemiology of Emerging Zoonoses in Israel

Arnon Shimshony
Author affiliation: Veterinary Services and Animal Health, Beit Dagan, Israel

Main Article

Table 1

Selected zoonotic diseases in Israel, 1996

Year Notifiable Occurrence Year Notifiable Occurrence
Anthrax 1945 1993 1949 1984
Brucellosis 1952 +++ 1949 +
Cysticercosis 1981 + NN +...
Erysipelas 1945 (+) NN +...
Leishmaniasis 1945 ( ) 1949 1994
Leptospirosis 1945 + 1949 (+)
Listeriosis 1961 + 1993 +...
Malleus 1945 1951 NN never
Psittacosis 1952 + NN +...
Q fever 1952 + 1949 (+)
Rabies 1955 + 1949 1960
Rift Valley fever 1978 never NN never
Salmonellosis 1959 +++ 1949 ++
Trichinosis 1982 ( ) No +...
Tuberculosis 1945 1993 1949
(bov., av.)
Botulism NN + 1993
(types C,D)
Echinococcosis NN ++ 1980 (+)

NN Not notifiable
0000 Never reported
- not reported, probably no occurrence
Year Year of last occurrence
(+) exceptional occurrence
+ low sporadic occurrence
++ enzootic/endemic
+++ High occurrence

Main Article

1Dr. John Wortabet (1827-1908), an Armenian-Lebanese physician who worked in the St. John Hospital in Beirut and lectured in the medical college there during the second half of the 19th century diagnosed trichinosis in humans in south Lebanon during a massive outbreak in the village of El-Chiam in November 1880—more than 115 years ago. His exemplary observations about the outbreak, which involved 262 cases, including six deaths, were published in Lancet (6). A second outbreak, in the Northern Golan, was reported by Dr. Wortabet in Lancet (4 August 1883). In this outbreak, 40 inhabitants of the village Ein-Kinya, were infected after consuming raw pork from a wild boar. However, in this outbreak, no deaths were recorded. His footnote, at the end of the report, is still timely: "From personal observation and experience I have found the use of pork in Syria decidedly unhealthy. The wild boar in winter is a delicacy, but unless previously examined with the microscope, according to German law, or cooked more thoroughly than is usually done, its use cannot be free from the danger of communicating trichinae to man." Data about Dr. Wortabet courtesy of Drs. Mertyn Malkinson and Arieh Sheskin.