Polio Discovery In Israeli Sewage Systems Ignites Debate


vaccineAs Israeli children begin their school year this week, one particular requirement for students is taking on a somewhat sudden and newfound sense of urgency-inoculation against the Polio disease.

The disease, which many in Israel had believed to be completely eradicated for more two decades, has recently been identified in sewage systems-first in the south and then in the north of the country-during routine testing.

Many across Israel are invoking thoughts of a biblical-style plague outbreak, even though no formal cases of the disease have been reported.

“There has not been an outbreak of Polio since a few cases were reported in Israel in 1988,” Dr. Mati Ehrlichman, director of the Glaubach Department of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, told JNS.org.

Yet suddenly, as a result of the sewer system findings and the potential for immune-deficient children to contract the disease, Israel’s Health Ministry has launched a rapid campaign to immediately inoculate children using an oral form of Polio vaccination (OPV), which the Health Ministry has not offered children for nearly 10 years.

Like many sudden Israeli initiatives, the decision to vaccinate has been met with some opposition and controversy, by a group that believes that spreading the vaccination may be more dangerous than the disease itself.

A petition was recently taken to Israel’s Supreme Court to halt the issue of the vaccine. The petition was quickly heard and rejected. The controversy surrounds the ability of the oral vaccination to spread to those who have not received it.

“There are two kinds of vaccination against Polio,” said Dr. Ehrlichman. “One is called IPV (Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine) and it is not given orally. Jonas Salk, who was Jewish, invented it in the ’50s. The OPV (Oral Polio Vaccination) was invented years later by Albert Sabin.”

“The only difference between the two is that the IPV is not a live vaccine. The OPV is live vaccine. The IPV, the non-live vaccine is a little better because there is no chance of developing wild Polio virus. But it only vaccinates the one who is getting the vaccine, not the others who are not getting the vaccine. With OPV, even those who are not receiving the vaccine can get vaccinated, because the vaccine can be passed from one to another across the country,” Ehrlichman explained.

It is this ability to spread itself that has some in Israel worried that an outbreak of Polio may be more likely to develop from the widespread distribution of the vaccination than from of the traces of the virus itself found in sewage.

Furthermore, the oral vaccine is not typically administered in developed nations.

Health officials, however, contend that the ability of the oral vaccine to protect an entire population from an outbreak well outweigh the risks that the vaccine may actually spread Polio.

According to Ehrichman, the chances that the virus would spread through the vaccine itself are extraordinarily rare, due to the fact that it is not the full virus that is being administered, but rather a heavily weakened version of the virus designed to help individuals develop immunity to the full virus.

“It is not the virus,” Ehrichman said. “It is the live attenuated virus within the vaccine. The benefit is that those who have not received the vaccine, they can be vaccinated even without getting the vaccine by mouth.”

During the 1950s, Israeli children were initially only offered the IPV, as this was and still is considered to be an effective form of vaccination for those who take it. Then, according to Ehrlichman, in 1988 there were some cases of wild Polio, so the Health Ministry added OPV. From 1988 to 2004, all the children got both vaccinations. After 2004, the Health Ministry decided to stop the OPV vaccination, like other developed countries, and to give only IPV.

“Now, because we have found some wild Polio in the sewer, the Health Ministry has decided to administer OPV, with the hope that the entire disease will be eradicated,” Ehrlichman said. “The adding of this vaccination is not dangerous at all, and it is only added as another opportunity to eradicate the virus.”

“The chances are very low that anybody should get the virus. But as we saw in 1988, some children got the virus, so we should be careful,” Ehrlichman added.

When asked how Polio, a disease that is only endemic in three countries-Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan-could spread to Israel, a developed nation whose children have been receiving vaccinations for decades, Ehrlichman posited, “I think it is possibly coming from Arab states, or from Bedouin in Sinai.”

“In the Palestinian Authority, children are given both vaccinations. In Egypt they give both. In Jordan they are giving both vaccinations because the disease was never fully eradicated,” Ehrlichman said.

“Here in Israel we thought the disease was eradicated, until we found it again,” the doctor added.

Even if contracted, the chances that a child would become permanently disabled from the virus are slim. For most individuals who contract the virus, the symptoms are relatively minor, compared to what most have been conditioned to believe, and most symptoms-including paralysis-are often fully resolved.

Israeli President Shimon Peres is among those who have seen firsthand the effects of Polio, as his son contracted and then overcame the virus. Peres has been campaigning for parents to get their children vaccinated.

At a health clinic last week, Peres related his son’s experience to parents waiting to vaccinate their children, explaining that his child was infected by Polio and had been paralyzed in his lower body as a baby for over a year.

Peres, urging parents to trust the health system, relayed a personal note when he discussed the fact that one of his children was infected with the Polio virus as a baby and was paralyzed in his lower body for over a year.

“Eventually he overcame it and healed and we thanked God he was alive. It was a horrible experience,” the Israeli president said.

Another famous Israeli, Itzhak Perlman, one of the world’s top violinists, contracted the Polio at age 4, and recovered well-enough to utilize crutches to walk and to perform musically at elite levels.

“I urge every mother and father, prevent this,” Peres said of Polio.

Source: JNS.ORG

{Matzav.com Israel}


  1. We should realize that the people who are opposing this program are not opposing it because they “like” to oppose things. Rather, they are opposing it because they are — very sadly — aware of the fact that this oral live virus Polio Vaccine has an especially bad history of causing harm to people.

  2. To #2- research why developing countries don’t give the OPV anymore. In fact, a senator caught polio from changing his grandchild’s diaper who had been given OPV. Look it up yourself.

  3. To Comment #2. from “lawman”:

    Thank you for your excellent inquiry that obviously should be asked! B’Ezras Hashem, we will try to show some of the “history” here.

    The web site of the “ThinkTwice Global Vaccine Institute,” at http://thinktwice.com/Polio.pdf, has a chapter on the subject of the Polio Vaccine. In great technical detail, with graphs and charts and the source of every statement fully documented, the author describes the disease, the development of the two vaccines, their effectiveness, and their side effects. (Except where noted, the information that is, B’Ezras Hashem, presented here is from this chapter, mainly sections 5 and 6.)

    When the oral “live virus” version is administered to a patient, the virus suprisingly stays in the patient’s throat area for an extended period of time, as much as even two weeks. And then, it does not get fully eliminated from his whole system for even two months! As this article here on Matzav alludes, for the health officials who are promoting widespread vaccination, this characteristic is a plus. The freshly vaccinated patient, who is carrying (the live virus of) “the vaccine” around in his mouth, can easily spread the vaccine to people he bumps into. However, for those people who are concerned about possible trouble, this characteristic is a big MINUS. For the easily spreading live virus could cause in some people the actual disease! For this very reason, even the promoters of this vaccine admit that it cannot be given to patients who are going to subsequently be around people who have immune problems (see http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/AEC/CC/polio.php near the end of the essay).

    Since its introduction in the early 1960’s, this oral “live virus” vaccine had been in the U.S. virtually the only version that was used. At the same time though, there were growing concerns that it was causing Polio to occur. In 1992, the U.S. government’s “Centers for Disease Control and Prevention” – the “CDC” — which strongly promotes the use of all vaccinations — published an admission that all of the recent cases of Polio in the country had not come by themselves but rather WERE CAUSED BY THE ORAL VACCINE!!

  4. (continuation of previous comment)

    Furthermore, the U.S. government has a special office for keeping track of instances where people experienced bad side effects from vaccinations. It is called the “Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System” – “VAERS”; web site at http://vaers.hhs.gov/index. After it was opened in 1990, in just a few years, it had already received a pretty high number — 13,641 — of complaints with the oral vaccine. In close to half — 6,364 — of those cases, the problems were so severe that the people went to Emergency Medical facilities. And, Lo Alaynu, tragically, there were 540 people who died.

    As a result of all of this, in June, 1996, the CDC’s vaccination advisory board recommended that physicians should begin to shift from the oral live virus version back to the injected dead virus version (see http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/Polio-SV40/polio696.aspx). Then, in January, 2000, the CDC decided to virtually stop all use of the oral live virus version, recommending it only for “special circumstances.”

  5. (continuation of previous comment)

    The above mentioned chapter at http://thinktwice.com/Polio.pdf, near the end of section 6, presents the text of an email letter, which a bereaved father wrote to the ThinkTwice office. B’Ezras Hashem, we will quote it in full.

    “The following story is typical of the damage associated with oral polio vaccines: ‘Four months ago my son was taken to a local clinic for his polio vaccine. I wasn’t aware that he was going to have one, and would have prevented it if I had known. Unfortunately, he changed from that day: high-pitched screaming, smelly stools, non-stop crying, difficulty in breathing, high temperature, and lethargy. He also lost weight. Weeks of sleepless nights for all of us followed. His development ceased. He had been able to stand and move around, but he went back to remaining in basically whatever position we left him in.

    “‘My wife was six months pregnant at the time, and about a week after our son’s polio vaccine, she began to have headaches, loss of balance, muscular weakness, and frequent tiredness. I panicked because everything seemed to be pointing to polio infection. Then, a week after her continuous headaches began, she had to go to the hospital because there was something wrong with the pregnancy; she lost our daughter.

    “‘I tried to get a polio test, and to find the cause of this tragic series of events, but the medical profession was extremely unhelpful. They laughed at me. I will never know why our son suddenly stopped growing or why his development regressed. I will never know why we lost our daughter. The only thing I am sure about is that the precursor to these events was the polio vaccine.’ [From an unsolicited e-mail received by the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute: http://www.thinktwice.com.]

  6. To Comment #3. from “akshan”:

    Wow!! In the research that I have done so far, I did not see that one about the senator. Could you please possibly tell us where this incident is related. Thanks.

  7. Albert Bruce Sabin, MD, Alav HaShalom, was also Jewish. He was born on August 26, 1906, in Bialystock, (at that time, it was under Russian control, today, it is part of Poland). In 1921, he moved with his family to America, among several reasons, to get away from Sinas Yisroel in Poland. His family name was Saperstein, but he changed it to Sabin when he became a U.S. citizen in 1930.

    For his professional health care career, he originally planned to become a dentist, as one of his uncles was a dentist who wanted his nephew to follow him into the profession and, toward that goal, paid for his college. After three years of dental school though, he changed his mind, as he strongly wanted to go into (general) medical research. In 1931, he received his medical doctorate degree from New York University Medical School. Then, through 1933, he received further specialized training at the famous Bellevue Hospital. After that, he held various positions of various areas of research. In World War II, he served as an army consultant and then as a lieutenant colonel in the Medical Corps. He did extensive research on and developed treatment for many of the illnesses that U.S. soldiers faced.

    After the war, he concentrated his efforts into what was probably all along his main goal: research on Polio. By the mid-1950’s and early 60’s, this culminated in — what was probably his hallmark acheivement — his famous oral Polio vaccine.

    Starting in 1970, he served as the president of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Eretz Yisroel, but after about two years, he was forced to stop from severe heart disease.

    On March 3, 1993, he was Niftar at the age of 86 at the famous Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, DC.

    (Sources for the above information:
    http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0826.html, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Sabin)

  8. Jonas Edward Salk, MD, Alav HaShalom, was born on October 28, 1914, in New York City. His Jewish parents were immigrants from Russia. Like vast numbers of immigrants in that era, the father was in the clothing business. And like very many immigrants in that era, the parents were financially poor but strongly wanted their children to get very good basic and higher educations. (See a family picture at http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/photocredit/achievers/sal0-055, and follow the links there for more photographs and the biographical essay.)

    Jonas was the first son to attend college. He was originally planning to go into law, but soon developed a strong interest in medicine. Like Dr. Sabin, Dr. Salk received his medical training, and, in 1939, his doctorate degree, at New York University School of Medicine.

    In 1947, he was given a job at the University of Pittsburg Medical School. There he began his research into Polio that in the mid 1950’s, culminated in his life’s hallmark acheivement: the development and implementation of his greatly famed Polio injected vaccine. He was soon celebrated as a world hero; on January 27, 1956, at a special ceremony in the Rose Garden of the White House, President Dwight David Eisenhower awarded him a Gold Medal Citation. (See photograph at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Salk_Ike_55.jpg.)

    Starting in 1963, Dr. Salk opened and for many years directed a research center called the “Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies” in La Jolla, California. He also authored, sometimes with a few of his sons, a number of books.

    On June 23, 1995, at his home in La Jolla, he was Niftar at the age of 80.

  9. (end of previous comment)

    May 6, 1985, was the 30th anniversary of the official start of the production of Dr. Salk’s vaccine. In celebration of the event, President Ronald Wilson Reagan declared the day to become “Jonas Salk Day.”

    (Sources for the above information:
    The biography essay at the “Academy of Achievement” web site mentioned above, http://www.biography.com/people/jonas-salk-9470147?page=1, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonas_Salk.)

  10. B’Ezras Hashem, as we have completed our two “biographies,” let us now go back and continue with our “history.” We will now relate the story of India.

    The world renown multi-multi-billionaire Bill Gates has stated that he wants to use his money to help rid the world of Polio. Therefore, he has set his endowment fund, called the “Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” to set up mass inoculation programs in various poorer “third world” countries.

    In 1994, his foundation started such a program in India. To say it was really quite a program would be a massively gross understatement of a massively gross understatement! For ten years, there were well over TWO MILLION drafted vaccinator people who went out to over TWO HUNDRED MILLION households to reach and inoculate close to ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY MILLION young children in the country.

    The vaccine material that they used WAS THE ORAL LIVE VIRUS VERSION! This is literally MABUL AL HARAIYON!! — This is literally an act that TOTALLY BEWILDERS OUR MINDS!!

    As I related above in Comment #5., in the mid-1990’s — when this India project was started — the official U.S. governmental vaccine establishment had begun to phase out use of the oral version! And, in early 2000 — which was right in the middle of the India program — the CDC had fully DISCONTINUED use of the oral version! In other words, in the United States, the vaccine officials themselves recognized that there were problems with the oral version.


    Anyway, much latter on, the day of January 12, 2012, was a day of celebration; it was time to pop open the bottles of champagne. For it had now been ONE FULL YEAR since a case of Polio had been reported in India. So now, India could be officially declared to be completely free of Polio! The heavy inoculation campaign had paid off! It was a resounding success! Mission accomplished!

    However, yes, no more cases of POLIO were seen in India. At the same time though, there IS another illness; its symptoms seem to be exactly the same as the symptoms of Polio. It is called: “Non-Polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis” – “NPAFP”; even though its symptoms are like those of Polio, it is not Polio, AND, it is twice as dangerous to, Chas V’Shalom, CAUSE DEATH as Polio.

    So as Polio was disappearing from India, this NPAFP was appearing all over the place! AND IT WAS COMING UP MOST HEAVILY IN THOSE VERY SAME LOCATIONS WHERE HEAVY VACCINATION WORK HAD BEEN DONE!!!!

    In numbers, this translates into this: The rate of cases of NPAFP in India is now TWELVE TIMES as much as the rate of NPAFP cases world wide. Furthermore, there are two provinces in India — called “Uttar Pradesh” and “Bihar” — where the vaccination program was very intense. In those two states, the rate of NPAFP cases is TWENTY-FIVE and THIRTY-FIVE times as much as the rate of NPAFP world wide!

    In the year 2011 alone, there were reported approximately 47,500 instances of NPAFP.

    (Sources for the above information:
    http://pharmabiz.com/NewsDetails.aspx?aid=68352&sid=1 and the official medical report at http://www.issuesinmedicalethics.org/202co114.html.)