Child given polio vaccine in Be'er Sheva
Child given polio vaccine in Be'er Sheva Flash 90

Israel's Health Ministry on Thursday afternoon reported that polio had been found in the sewage of Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Modi'in Illit, and Tiberias.

The Ministry is conducting additional tests to confirm the initial findings.

Meanwhile, in the Jerusalem area, 11,785 people have been vaccinated against polio. One vaccinated child was found to be symptomatic with polio, while another unvaccinated child was found to have asymptomatic polio. Five additional unvaccinated children are suspected of having been infected with polio. All of the children who were found to have polio in their feces are unvaccinated.

The Health Ministry calls on parents to ensure their children are vaccinated according to schedule, and to vaccinate as soon as possible any children who have not yet received the immunization. The polio vaccine is the safest and most effective means of preventing infection and protecting against illness.

On Wednesday, Health Ministry Director General Professor Nachman Ash told 103 FM Radio, "This is definitely concerning and disturbing. There are a few cases in which we have discovered the virus."

He added, "Right now we have only identified it in the Jerusalem area, but we are checking in the rest of the country as well."

"There is no vaccine mandate in the State of Israel," Prof. Ash noted. "We will work in order to explain. We must return to a situation in which we do not find the virus in the State of Israel, as it was until a few weeks ago."