Polio virus spreads to northern Israel

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 9 and younger with a weakened form of the live virus.

As of Aug. 21, 182,000 children had been vaccinated with the live virus. These are children who already were inoculated against polio in their standard childhood vaccinations.

The polio virus was discovered in wastewater in Israel’s south in May. It reportedly had been there since February. The virus was found in wastewater in central Israel about a month ago.

It is believed the virus came 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. — jta