Israel Launches Polio Booster Campaign

JERUSALEM (August 18, 2013)--Israel is launching a nationwide campaign to give polio boosters to all children younger than 9 after a strain of the virus was found in sewage.

Itamar Grotto, director of Israel's public health service, said the campaign started Sunday in response to the discovery of a strain of the virus in sewage in southern Israel in June.

Experts believe the strain originated in neighboring Egypt.

Israel already immunizes its children against the disease, but the new campaign will provide additional protection.

There have been no clinical cases of the virus, which can lead to paralysis or death, but some child carriers have been identified in Israel.

Polio remains endemic in only three countries worldwide, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan.

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