WPV discovered in waste-water treatment plant in Israel

Wild poliovirus was discovered for the first time in a waste-water treatment plant in Jerusalem, Israel, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said on Wednesday.

In the week ending on September 13, wild poliovirus was found in the Jerusalem plant. While Israel was free of indigenous WPV transmission since 1988, wild poliovirus type I was isolated from sewage samples in Rahat in southern Israel on April 9.

Since the discovery of WPV I, the virus was detected in close to 100 sewage samples from all across Israel, indicating widespread transmission throughout the country. There were no clinical cases seen in Israel as of Wednesday.

Israel is adopting nationwide measures to prevent cases of poliomyelitis and to stop the environmental spread of the virus. The preventive measures include a supplementary immunization activity with bivalent oral polio vaccine. The campaign is meant to increase mucosal immunity levels in children naive to OPV to quickly interrupt the circulation of the virus.

In the ECDC's weekly report on Wednesday, the agency also reported an outbreak of H7N7 avian influenza in poultry in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy since August. Three poultry workers from the area showed signs of conjunctivitis and all three tested positive for H7N7. Conjunctivitis was documented in humans exposed to poultry infected by H7N7 in previous outbreaks as well.