A wild strain of the polio virus
was found on Tuesday in a sewage treatment plant in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, near Hadera,
marking the northernmost point in which the virus has been sampled.
Meanwhile, the national vaccination project continues, with 48,000 children vaccinated on Tuesday across the country.
So far, 182,000 children aged nine and under were vaccinated.
The virus found in the plant is not weakened, and therefore not of the same type that vaccinated children
might spread for the six weeks after receiving the vaccination.
The Health Ministry official noted following the find that "the virus' northward migration proves there's a need for a nationwide vaccination of children."
Parents in Baqa al-Gharbiyye
were concerned after hearing the virus made its way into their community. "I haven't taken my two children to be vaccinated until today, because I didn't believe it would help. The moment I heard the virus was found, I was very scared and decided I'll take them tomorrow to get
vaccinated," a resident said.
A nurse in a Tipat Halav infirmary in the city told Ynet that 200 children from the area were vaccinated on Tuesday.
The polio virus was detected in sewage systems in southern Israel a few months ago, and since then the Health Ministry
has been vaccinating children from the area using dead virus which prevent infection, but allow carriage of the virus.
About a month ago, it became clear that the virus is spreading and it was found in central Israel. Following consultations with professional sources and the World Health Organization,
it was decided to launch a nationwide campaign of vaccinations.
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