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Advice RE: Resurgence of Polio in Israel

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi there, My two kids, 3 and 5 are not vaccinated. I feel pretty confident about that these days. We typically visit family in Israel in the winter, but my mom just sent me a link to a news article about the detection of the polio virus in sewage in Israel. It's the same strain that is endemic to Pakistan. So far, 7 people have been found to have the virus. At any rate, my sister in-law and her kids are returning this weekend from a 2 year post-doc position in Jerusaelm, and I'm a bit worried about my kids. Additionally, the Israeli government is considering additional innoculation of 200,000 kids in southern Israel with the newest live polio vaccine. So my questions are: 1. Should I visit Israel this year, and if so, do I need to vaccinate my kids? 2. Do I need to be worried about my kids coming into contact with friends or relatives who have travelled to or will travel to Israel? Any advice you have would be much appreciated.
post #2 of 22

Dr Suzanne Humphries on Polio in Israel

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5MAuzR2oBw

 

post #3 of 22
People who have been inoculated with oral polio vaccine shed live polio virus cells in their feces for up to 3 weeks, so OF COURSE it would be in sewage.

Giving additional doses of live virus polio vaccine sounds like a way to guarantee more polio virus in the sewage. It also sounds like a way to spread the disease, as you can't guarantee that a restaurant employee washed his hands adequately after changing his recently vaccinated baby's diaper.

OP, I agree--in the situation you describe, it's a tough choice.
post #4 of 22

GREAT VIDEO MIRZAM!!!!

Saving it to my "Vaccine Info" folder orngbiggrin.gif

post #5 of 22

I would wait until fall and see what the numbers are like in Israel and then decide.  Live Polio vaccines scare me.  Depending on how things look in fall, I might skip Israel this year.  My 2 cents.

 

 

ETA:  I am pretty middle of the road when it comes to being unvaccinated and travel.  I went to Cuba unvaxxed 2 years ago, might go to Costa Rica this fall and we will remain unvaxxed - but I have always said I would not visit an area where a serious VAD was highly prevalent.  You can't know how prevalent the disease will be yet, nor do you know if they are going to go through with the live Polio vaccine (what are they thinkg??!??  I need to look into this….).  


Edited by kathymuggle - 8/2/13 at 6:32am
post #6 of 22

I had not heard of this resurgence in Israel. Even with it, it's a large country, and just a few cases so the odds of any given person being exposed are probably quite low. In fact I would say it's probably only slightly more risky than being unvaccinated in the US (just a flight away from Israel, Pakistan and the African countries which have polio circulating anyway). 

 

OPV has a high adverse reaction rate (cost of the more effective protection against polio) so I would not want to have that unless I was working in a way that would expose me to sewage in an area of a country in which polio was endemic. I don't think you're sugesting that you would get OPV though right, just that it might be offered in Israel? IPV has a much better safety profile, and still offers good protection against polio.

 

But as Kathymuggle says more information may become clear closer to the time, so the wait and see option may be your best.

post #7 of 22

Just to add it to the thread for information - here's the WHO notice about polio is Israel: http://www.who.int/csr/don/2013_07_15/en/index.html

 

No actual cases yet, just detection of the virus in 10 sewage samples. I wonder if all countries routinely monitor sewage samples for the polio virus....

post #8 of 22

More recent update here in the Times of Israel - so they've found some children carrying the virus, but they were all vaccinated, so none are sick. 

 

http://www.timesofisrael.com/world-health-body-warns-tourists-of-polio-threat-in-israel/

 

This implies that IPV prevents you getting sick, but allows you to be a carrier of the virus while OPV would prevent you being a carrier. Does anyone know anything more about that? 

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

More recent update here in the Times of Israel - so they've found some children carrying the virus, but they were all vaccinated, so none are sick. 

 

http://www.timesofisrael.com/world-health-body-warns-tourists-of-polio-threat-in-israel/

 

This implies that IPV prevents you getting sick, but allows you to be a carrier of the virus while OPV would prevent you being a carrier. Does anyone know anything more about that? 

In the 2005 polio was discovered in five Amish children, all were unvaccinated and asymptomatic. The original carrier was identified as an immunocompromised 7 month old.

 

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm54d1014a1.htm

post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

More recent update here in the Times of Israel - so they've found some children carrying the virus, but they were all vaccinated, so none are sick. 

http://www.timesofisrael.com/world-health-body-warns-tourists-of-polio-threat-in-israel/

This implies that IPV prevents you getting sick, but allows you to be a carrier of the virus while OPV would prevent you being a carrier. Does anyone know anything more about that? 

Actually, it does NOT imply that IPV prevents you getting sick. According to the CDC, up to 95% of polio infections are ASYMPTOMATIC:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/polio.pdf
"Up to 95% of all polio infections are inapparent or asymp- tomatic. Estimates of the ratio of inapparent to paralytic illness vary from 50:1 to 1,000:1 (usually 200:1). Infected persons without symptoms shed virus in the stool and are able to transmit the virus to others."
post #11 of 22

Prosciencemum, did you watch the video? Any thoughts?

post #12 of 22

I don't really like watching videos. I'm usually on here either at work (as a micro-break), or at home (with the kids around). Typing/reading isn't distruptive, but watching videos is.

 

Could you provide a summary of it and/or a link to a transcript? 

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

I don't really like watching videos. I'm usually on here either at work (as a micro-break), or at home (with the kids around). Typing/reading isn't distruptive, but watching videos is.

Could you provide a summary of it and/or a link to a transcript? 

I understand; I prefer transcripts to videos, myself. I don't really understand why she chose to make a video, when YouTube is not exactly the place to go for information. And she's not the most dynamic speaker around.

But it's only 7 minutes.

Basically, she says that she is a nephrologist who started researching vaccines when she noticed many of her patients becoming ill after measles, tetanus, and flu shots. When she questioned colleagues about their knowledge of vaccine-caused illnesses, she was given the party line: "vaccines are safe and effective."

She strongly suggests researching both sides of the issues, and she believes that current medical mandates on vaccines are not based on sound science, but are profit-driven.

I find it very interesting that what started her off was noticing that her patients became ill after receiving certain vaccines.

Imagine that. Not an allergic reaction, but ILLNESS.

And a doctor noticed it, reported it, researched it, and concluded that there are some major, unrecognized problems with vaccination! But prosciencemum can't be bothered to have a look because she doesn't like videos (though that didn't stop her from watching Paul Offit, hmmm).
post #14 of 22
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,

 

Thanks for all the tips, resources and advice.  I've decided not to travel to Israel this year and kind of wait and see what's going on there.  And yes, they are trying to administer the OPV to 150,000 children in the south of the country.  What I want to know is whether you think I should be worried about encountering polio in our community, as many of our friends and kids from my daughter's school visit israel.  that would mean we're in contact with them, and they could potentially carry the virus.  The WHO gave the spread of polio from israel to other countries a moderate rating.

 

Any thoughts on how stressed out I should be and whether I should take the plunge and give my kids the IPV?

post #15 of 22

I am not going to comment on the IPV thing.

 

I would not stress out on kids visiting from Israel.

 

The math is on your side:

 

First they would need to have a case of Polio to begin with.  Let's say 100 kids are diagnosed with Polio in israel.  What are odds one of them is visiting near you?   Then your kids have to get it, and have a serious issue with it (I don't want my kids to get Polio - but remember Polio is mild or symtom free in 95% of people).

 

The more cases of polio there are in Israel, the bigger the risk.  We do not know how many cases there will be, and it would have to be really high before it would cause me a twinge of concern for my own children.

 

Overall, I think the whole "it is just a plane ride away" arguement is a fear based one.  


Edited by kathymuggle - 8/7/13 at 11:28am
post #16 of 22
It may also help to remember that, although polio CAN be crippling, even deadly, the vast majority of cases (95%) are actually asymptomatic..

So it becomes the same game of Russian Roulette as vaccination. The difference is, with vaccination, you KNOW you are being exposed (well, injecting) toxins (not just the antigen, which is weakened, but adjuvants, preservatives, and other potentially damaging ingredients) that have caused crippling and death. With polio, you don't even know that you will be exposed from your visiting Israeli family.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
That's a good point about the Russian Roulette idea. I've thought about that. I've also thought about the fact that only 5% of polio cases are paralytic. My big concern is that they are administering the live polio vaccine, which is easily spread through feces - which is the point of the vaccine. If someone vaccinated visits here, the chance of transmission is higher. Israel is also now considering vaccinating the entire population, which would make the risk of transmission higher. I guess that's one way to innoculate my child without the shot - via someone else who has been innoculated.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by yrokach View Post

That's a good point about the Russian Roulette idea. I've thought about that. I've also thought about the fact that only 5% of polio cases are paralytic. My big concern is that they are administering the live polio vaccine, which is easily spread through feces - which is the point of the vaccine. If someone vaccinated visits here, the chance of transmission is higher. Israel is also now considering vaccinating the entire population, which would make the risk of transmission higher. I guess that's one way to innoculate my child without the shot - via someone else who has been innoculated.

That is actually not the case. Only 5% are symptomatic. Less than 1% of cases result in paralysis.

 

Personally I would not worry about this. Even on the miniscule chance that one of these visiting children was recently given the OPV and was potentially shedding the virus in their stool, will your children be changing diapers or having any contact with these children's poop? Not likely.

post #19 of 22
Double post
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

That is actually not the case. Only 5% are symptomatic. Less than 1% of cases result in paralysis.

Personally I would not worry about this. Even on the miniscule chance that one of these visiting children was recently given the OPV and was potentially shedding the virus in their stool, will your children be changing diapers or having any contact with these children's poop? Not likely.

Well, let's be fair. The children don't have to be changing each other's diapers. All that would be needed to transmit the virus is for the adult who changes diapers to also prepare food or even put away dishes without having sufficiently washed hands.

And I'm afraid that there are a number of adults who do just that.

But I think a reminder to family members would suffice:

"Children who have received OPV shed live C viral cells in their diapers, so PLEASE wash hands thoroughly after attending to your child's needs."
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