Israel reports first polio case since 1989

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Jerusalem: The Israeli Ministry of Health has said it has detected polio infection in a 4-year-old child in Jerusalem.

This is the first case of polio detected in Israel since 1989, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Israeli media.

The child was not vaccinated as part of the routine vaccinations that children receive in Israel, the ministry said in a statement.

The source of the disease in this case is a strain of polio virus that has changed and can cause disease in those who are not vaccinated, the statement said.

Following the infection, the ministry called for adherence to routine vaccinations at the recommended times and the completion of vaccinations for those who have not yet done so.

The ministry’s regional health administration in Jerusalem has begun an epidemiological investigation and will contact people who were close to the child for specific guidance.

Rudolf Schwenk, the head of the UN children’s agency United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Malawi showed concern over the outbreak of the virus reported in Malawi and said, “The resurgence of the wild poliovirus in Malawi … is cause for serious concern.”

“Vaccination is the only way to protect the children of Malawi from this crippling disease which is highly infectious,” he added.

Further recommendations will be decided upon the findings, the ministry noted.

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