Israel in the midst of nationwide polio vaccination campaign

Environmental surveillance continues to detect virus

20130920_Israel

The polio virus was detected in the country’s sewage system this year, triggering a mass immunisation campaign.

Courtesy of EPA/Guardian

Israel is currently vaccinating all children under 9 years of age in response to the detection of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) in the sewage system. Recently, WPV1 has also been detected in sewage samples in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. No one has been paralyzed by polio, but in order to rapidly stop transmission of the virus, vaccination campaigns with oral polio vaccine are taking place in Israel and are planned in the West Bank and Gaza in October. Because of the increasing geographic extent of WPV1 circulation in Israel over a prolonged period of time (since February), the World Health Organization considers that the risk of further international spread of WPV1 from Israel is high.

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