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Polio Virus Spreads to Northern Israel

August 28, 2013 By:
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A medical clown makes faces as an Israeli boy receives polio vaccination. Photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash 90
JERUSALEM — A strain of the polio virus was found in wastewater near Hadera, meaning the virus has spread to the north of Israel.
The discovery comes two weeks into a national vaccination project to inoculate Israeli children aged 9 and under with a weakened form of the live virus.
As of last week, 182,000 children have been vaccinated with the live virus. The children already have been inoculated against polio in their regular childhood vaccinations.
The campaign is in response to the discovery in May of the polio virus in wastewater in Israel’s South that reportedly had been there since February.
The virus was believed to have been brought to Israel from Egypt; polio was discovered in sewage in Egypt in December. The same virus also is prevalent in Pakistan.
Israel experienced its last case of polio in 1988.

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