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Published On: Sun, Aug 4th, 2013

Israel to ramp up polio vaccinations after virus found in sewage samples from multiple sites

The Israeli Health Ministry will be begin a polio vaccination campaign that may reach up to 200,000 children, according to a Haaretz report today.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

The report notes that the number of kids, up to nine and one half years of age in the south, under consideration for polio vaccine will be between 150,000 to 200,000.

This comes on the heels of a World Health Organization (WHO) update that said wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) had been isolated in 30 sewage samples from 10 sampling sites in Israel, primarily in southern Israel.

The first instance of poliovirus was isolated from sewage samples collected on 9 April 2013 in Rahat, southern Israel.

Although routine immunization levels for polio in Israel are estimated at 94 percent, the decision to begin a vaccination campaign came after consultation with experts and due to concerns of health authorities in Europe of a spread of the polio virus from Israel to abroad.

Haaretz reports the children are to be inoculated with the same vaccine given in well-baby (Tipat Halav) clinics, which contains a weakened form of the virus. The goal is for this weakened form of the virus to be passed on to the people in the children’s immediate surroundings, thereby immunizing those who have not been inoculated in the past.

It is important to note that all viruses have been detected in sewage only; no cases of paralytic polio have been reported.

Polio is a disease caused by a virus that is mainly spread by eating or drinking items contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Polio can also be spread through water, other drinks, and raw or undercooked food.

Most people with polio do not feel sick. Some people have only minor symptoms, such as fever, tiredness, nausea, headache, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, stiffness in the neck and back, and pain in the arms and legs. Most people recover completely. In rare cases, polio causes permanent loss of muscle function in the arms or legs (usually the legs) or death.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  24. Israel to launch limited active polio virus campaign in south - Reuters | TotalNewsWatch.comTotalNewsWatch.com says:

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