Polio Cases In Chareidi Neighborhoods In Jerusalem Concern Health Officials – VINnews

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The Israeli health ministry is concerned that children from a kindergarten in Meah Shearim could have contracted the polio virus from a 4-year-old girl who tested positive for the virus this week, the second case within a week after 33 years without polio cases in Israel. The girl had continued to go to kindergarten before receiving the positive diagnosis and not all the children are fully vaccinated.

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The health ministry has begun an epidemiological investigation to determine which children have been vaccinated and which are at risk but the kindergarten officials are not giving this information without rabbinic approval.

The girl who tested positive is being monitored in her home and does not currently require hospitalization. Her symptoms affect half of her body as is common in polio victims.

A pediatrician working in the neighborhood told Kan news that “this is not a surprise there are more and more children who do not receive vaccinations at present. Its a new fashion- young mothers don’t vaccinate. There was always a concern and they did them without enthusiasm because anything from the establishment was “treif”. The situation in the last few years was too good and it was a matter of time [before an outbreak occurred]. I know lots of children who didn’t get any vaccinations. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more cases.”

The ministry believes there are many more cases in regions where few people vaccinate and are conducting investigations to estimate the spread of the virus. If there are a significant number of cases, the ministry is considering a polio booster for all children in Jerusalem.

Ministry figures show that only 83% of infants under a year old received the four vaccines required against polio. The ministry has begun to monitor the Jerusalem sewage system to try and locate more cases of infection.

Most cases of polio will be light and only 1 in a 1000 can bring on the deadly paralysis but the ministry is concerned that there may be many other cases, some of which could be more severe.


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