US warns: Flying to Israel? Get your polio immunizations
Americans planning on visiting holy land told to update polio immunizations by CDC; 625,000 Israeli children vaccinated since start of immunication campaign; polio virus still present in sewage of Beersheba, Kiryat Gat
The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published a warning calling on all Americans
planning to visit Israel to get vaccinated against polio, in order to avoid getting infected with the viral disease, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.
The spread of the virus in Israel has created worry among health authorities at governments worldwide. The CDC
in Atlanta, one of the leading professional bodies dealing with the issue of public health and safety, called on US citizens visiting Israel to get their polio vaccination, even if they were immunized as children, if they have not been revaccinated as adults.
They also decided that children who had not yet completed the vaccinations and adults who did not know their vaccination status should consult with their doctor before traveling to Israel,
in order to verify whether they are in need of an additional vaccination.
In addition to polio, it is also recommended that travelers to Israel at this time get immunized against Hepatitis A (liver disease).
On Sunday, it was discovered that the polio virus was still present in the sewage waters of Beersheba
and Kiryat Gat. The Health Ministry called on parents in those areas to quicken the pace of the vaccinations.
On Sunday, 35,000 children were vaccinated against polio nationwide. Since the start of the vaccination campaign, 625,000 children have been immunized.
The Education Ministry provided
Israeli health authorities with a list of 233 children who have not been attending school, due to not having gotten their polio shots. This can put them at risk to catching polio from recently immunized children, who are being vaccinated with a weakened version of the disease. According to initial checks, there is uncertainty regarding whether the children actually need to miss their studies.
The management of the Health Ministry has turned to the HMOs
of the unvaccinated children, asking them to check with the family doctors of those on the list, to see whether their absence from school is necessary.
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