News & AnalysisInfectious Disease

Israel's Silent Polio Epidemic Breaks All the Rules

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Science  08 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6159, pp. 679-680
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6159.679

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Twenty-five years after it was dispatched, wild poliovirus is back and circulating widely in Israel but, surprisingly, there have been no cases. Like many other wealthy countries, Israel relies on the inactivated polio vaccine, or IPV, to protect against this crippling disease. Paradoxically, Israel's very high vaccination rate is what has allowed the virus to circulate silently for months.