Israeli Officials Identify Case of Polio in Child

Israeli Officials Identify Case of Polio in Child

( – First-world countries don’t hear a lot about polio as a disease because most countries have made it obsolete through childhood vaccinations. Despite this, the virus is still out there. Recent news out of Israel clarifies infections, even in vaccinated populations, isn’t out of the question.

The Israeli Health Ministry announced the first case of polio in decades on March 6. Medical professionals discovered the virus in an unvaccinated 4-year-old and said it’s a mutation that could infect those not vaccinated against the disease.

This incident marks the first case since the late 1980s, when the country eradicated the virus with inoculations. Officials found traces of polio in sewers in 2013, which led to a push to vaccinate children but no infections. After this diagnosis, officials again urged parents to ensure their children are up-to-date on immunizations. The standard course requires four doses starting at age two months and then booster shots at from ages four through six.

Polio impacts the nervous system. It acts quickly, sometimes causing paralysis in just hours. The virus also can be deadly because it paralyzes the muscles used to breathe. It spreads through respiratory droplets, feces, or contaminated food and water sources.

The Jerusalem Health Bureau is investigating and will contact anyone who has been near the infected child.

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