The New York State Health Department has issued an alert urging state residents to update their polio vaccination – or to get one if they have never had one – prior to traveling to the State of Israel.
This weekend the state’s health department noted in its travel alert that four cases of the virus were diagnosed earlier this month in the northern Israeli city of Tzfat.
According to Israel’s Health Ministry, one of the children diagnosed with the illness, who contracted the paralytic form of the virus — was unvaccinated. The child was diagnosed after being taken to a local hospital with weakness in his limbs, where he was tested.
Three other infected residents were asymptomatic.
Israel’s Channel 12 News reported Monday that at least 175,000 Israeli children are currently not vaccinated against the deadly virus, according to statistics from the Health Ministry.
Traces of the virus have also been found in multiple areas around the country during wastewater testing.
The polio virus mainly affects children. In those who contract the illness, the virus can cause permanent disability, paralysis and even death in some cases.
Polio can be prevented with a simple vaccination.