MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Israel Health Ministry will vaccinate 200,000 children against polio

The Health Ministry of Israel announced on Sunday that it will vaccinate all children born after January 1, 2004, against the poliovirus after 23 healthy carriers were confirmed to be infected with the virus.

Israeli officials said the initiative will vaccinate approximately 200,000 children nine years of age and under. The children will receive an oral vaccination that contains a weak version of the poliovirus, UPI.com reports.

The decision stems from traces of poliovirus found in the sewage of Southern Israel earlier in the year. In a study, 1,000 residents were tested for the polio and although no cases of paralytic polio were found, 23 people were confirmed positive for poliovirus infections, according to UPI.com.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines polio as a potentially deadly infectious disease that infects the brain and spinal cord of its host, usually leading to paralysis. It is transmitted from person to person and has no cure. The best method of prevention is vaccination, which also helps control the spread of disease.

This was not the only recent case of the poliovirus resurfacing in a country where it was thought to have been eradicated. The United Nations Children's Fund reported on Monday that a poliovirus outbreak in Somalia has lead to the paralysis of 95 children since May.